I moved to the south nearly ten years ago from being born and raised in Yorkshire. And one thing that I have totally not taken advantage of is living close to the coast down here. I say close, it is around an hour away, sometimes less to somewhere like Brighton, but the south coast, as beautiful as it is, isn’t somewhere that we go to all that often. But that really needs to change!
A couple of weekends ago, Max and I had the amazing pleasure of heading down to Southampton, to spend the day onboard the Independence of the Seas cruise ship. The Royal Caribbean ship has been recently refurbished, so it was the chance to see all that it had to offer, especially for families. We have not cruised before, so I was genuinely intrigued to see what is onboard; would there really be enough for all of the family to keep them entertained?
I was sharing on Instagram on our way down there, and a friend of mine had just been on the ship for a holiday; she said it was epic! So we were excited to see what there was. I am definitely intrigued by a cruise holiday, as it seems like a fantastic way to do plenty of things and see plenty of sights. I liked that there are a variety of cruises to go on too. The people what were joining the ship as we left were heading off to the med for two weeks, but there are options of three night stop overs in places like Paris and Bruges, so there are choices of everyone. I think I’d love the Scandinavian adventure myself!
After having out passports checked, we were onboard to have a look around and a tour for starters. Holidaymakers had just got off the ship, so there were some areas being cleared and cleaned while we had a tour. The ship is huge, though it was easier to navigate around than I had first imagined. The interiors are really stunning, with plenty of glitz and glam, with shiny surfaces and marble galore; it looked so stylish and classy. I can see why people that cruise choose to do so more than once, it is a glam way to travel.
The staff were so friendly and helpful. From the catering staff to the lifeguards, there wasn’t anything too small that they weren’t happy to help with. I imagine being on a cruise with them would be lovely, and you’d get to know them better as you are likely to see them quite a bit. It is simple touches like that, that can make or break a trip; I was really impressed.
The tour consisted of:
views on the top deck of the Splashaway Bay area, as well as the flowrider area, and the SkyPad area (a virtual reality bungee trampoline experience)
The Perfect Storm, a duo of racing waterslides called Cyclone and Typhoon
Laser tag room
Escape room – such a cool feature
shopping mall area (complete with Ben & Jerry’s store and Sugar Beach Candy Store)
Casinos and luxury lounges
art gallery. Yes, you read that correctly, there is an art gallery onboard
We also got to enjoy lunch in the Windjammer restaurant onboard, with a huge buffet of a variety of foods to choose from. It was quite the setting sitting out overlooking the sea
And that wasn’t even everything. There are sports playing areas, running track, and staterooms with panoramic views that would be to die for! I honestly don’t know how you’d pack it all in, but it would be so much fun to try, right? Max loved it too – free ice creams and Splashaway Bay were all that he needed for a good time, so it gets the family-friendly seal of approval too. The staff were great with the kids too.
We had an amazing day onboard the Independence of the Seas, and to imagine how much we managed to fit in, I think it would make for a great way to holiday. It really felt like we were on holiday as soon as we stepped onboard, and really that is what it is all about. There is a vibrant atmosphere onboard, with a feeling of luxury. It would be a pleasure to step onboard again.
Have you ever been on a cruise? What do you think to the multimillion pound makeover to the Independence of the Seas? It would be great to hear what you think.
*this is a collaborative post with Royal Caribbean. All opinions are my own.