The Independence of the Seas is the perfect mix of restful relaxation and non stop thrill. The Independence is a 3,600 passenger, 15 deck cruise liner which sails around the Eastern and Western Caribbean. The Independence sails on 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, and 14 night journeys departing solely from Fort Lauderdale or Southampton. This can be good news for families as whatever time of the year your vacation is, the details will stay the same. No confusing constant checking of dates and departure ports.
Entertainment and family time are the name of the game on board the Independence. The climbing rock wall and surf simulator will not only make for unforgettable family memories, but are all also no extra fee. Don't worry water lovers, the Independence has you covered as well. The main Independence pool features and attending whirlpool and live music. However, most kids will run straight for the H2O Zone, a kids only aqua park with a shallow pool and water guns. Parents should note that swim diapers are alright in the H2O Zone. At night, the pool hosts a Dive In Movie Night where families can watch movies and live sporting events.
The real trick with most parents on cruises is finding programs where kids can have fun and learn at the same time. The Independence's Adventure Ocean youth programs is the perfect opportunity for edutainment. Splitting kids up into three groups based on age (3-5, 6-8, and 9-11) the youth crew sets up themed events, activities, and classes for young passengers and allows parents some kids free relaxation.
Teens have their own place at FUEL, where they can chill with other teens (under crew supervision, don't worry). At night, the Adventure Ocean program becomes a babysitting operation, costing $5 per child, per hour. In cabin babysitting is $15 per child for more than three kiddos at a time. For families with older kids this may not be a problem, but for those with many little ones, group babysitting is the better option.
Of course, the Independence caters to adult vacations as well. As with most Royal Caribbean ships, the Independence does not short on theater entertainment. Check out original productions, Broadway at sea, ice skating shows, and a Royal Caribbean version of Grease. The Solarium offers parents a pool side space all their own for splash-free relaxing. The numerous lounges and on board casino offer amazing date nights and alone time.
On the day to day, families will not have to search long for a good time on board. The Independence offers a large array of game shows, wine tastings, culinary courses, guest lecturers, parades, and a mystery dinner theater to keep guests busy even on the longest of sailing journeys.
Each ship has a variety of fun activities for the whole family, so be sure to check your ship before you cruise to view what's available. Whether you're 8 or 80, there's no reason not to have fun on your getaway at sea; before breaking off into everyone's activities, enjoy some time together by planning to meet for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
This is the time to make memories and nothing could be more memorable than setting up a shore excursion for the whole family. Plan your shore excursions ahead of time for the best chance at booking your top selections.
*Please note it is often cheaper to book two staterooms or two connecting cabins instead of one large stateroom suite - plus it gives you a second bathroom.*