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  Independence of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)

Independence of the Seas | Royal Caribbean International
Independence of the Seas in front of Ruissalo, Turku, Finland at start of maiden voyage.
Photograph by Tommy Björklund. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)



Independence of the Seas | Royal Caribbean International
Independence of the Seas at anchor in Oslo harbor.
Photograph by Bernt Rostad. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)





CRUISE SHIP FACTS

Description
This 15-deck Mediterranean cruise ship, launched only in 2008, is a relatively new part of the Royal Caribbean International family. Upon construction, it joined the ranks of the Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas as the largest passenger cruise ships built. With its size as well as its wide range of unique onboard activities specifically designed for a diverse group of travelers, those traveling on the Independence of the Seas will not come across a single dull moment. With standout entertainment amenities such as an interactive water park, countless shops, and 300 slot machines, the Independence of the Seas is the cruise ship for all ages.

Destinations
When first launched, the Independence of the Seas cruised from Southampton, England in the summer and from Fort Lauderdale in the winter. Since April 2010, however, it has been sailing from Southampton before taking a luxuriant route through various European destinations all year long.

History
The Independence of the Seas was constructed by Aker Finnyards in Turku, Finland, and made the news before its launching when construction was completed two weeks ahead of schedule. It is a Freedom-class cruise ship along with the Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas. It started operations in April 2008 and, at 1,112 feet in length, was one of the three largest cruise ships during that time. It received a lot of media attention, however, not only for its size, but for the unique way it was christened. The name “Independence of the Seas” was given by Elizabeth Hill of Baslow, Derbyshire, who won the national competition held just for that purpose.

Dining
The Independence of the Seas boasts of one of the most extensive dining selections found on a cruise ship. Its dining area spans three decks, each of which are memorably named after Shakespearean novels. Deck 3 is called Romeo and Juliet, Deck 4 is Othello, and Deck 5 is King Lear. All dining areas are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but only Romeo and Juliet serves open-seating mid-day meals. Lunch is especially delightful, with a unique make-your-own-salad bar at the buffet and antipasti specials for vegetarians and diet-conscious travelers. The cruise ship has also received special attention for its high-end restaurants, namely Portofino and Chops Grille, the latter of which is often mentioned in reviews for its excellent Filet Mignon. Other dining options include the Asian-themed Jade for those craving for Thai and Chinese, Sorrento’s for pizza and Italian desserts, the diner-style Johnny Rocket’s, the 24-hour Café Promenade for pastries and coffee, and Sprinkles and Ben & Jerry’s for your choice of ice cream.

Entertainment
The Independence of the Seas offers some of the best and most unique entertainment facilities found on a cruise ship. For adults, the most popular would be the Casino Royale with its 300 slot machines and wide assortment of table games including Texas Hold ‘Em and blackjack. For shopping, head to the countless shops on the Promenade, which, at night, is transformed into a nightlife center complete with dazzling street festivals. For some wine and music, travelers can head to the Vintages wine bar, the nautical-themed Schooner Bar, or the Latin-themed Bolero’s. For cultural recreation, they can head to the two-deck Alhambra Theater for some song and dance performances.

Sports facilities focus on shore-based group activities. These include scuba diving, kayaking, Segway rides, cycling, horseback riding, snorkeling, and golf. Parasailing and zip-lining are also available on Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s private beach resort in Haiti. Skating is also a popular activity with the ship’s very own ice skating rink called Studio B. The ship’s professional ice skating shows have also received warm reception from guests. Onboard sports facilities include a rock climbing wall, a basketball court, a hockey court, a mini golf course, and a unique surfing area called the FlowRider.

Independence of the Seas is also particularly popular among kids of all ages. The center of activity is the H2O Zone, an interactive water park. However, most kids spend most of their time engaged in the ship’s youth-oriented programs called the Aquanauts for 3-5 year olds, the Explorers for 6-8 year olds, and the Voyagers for 9-12 year olds. These programs engage kids in various games and other activities through which they can have fun and learn at the same time.

Cabins
There are five types of cabins onboard, namely the inside cabins, the Promenade views, the outsides, the balcony cabins, and the suites. All cabins feature a unique nautical theme with a very light and pleasant blue and green color theme, and many cabins are designed for whole families with sizes of up to 300 square feet. All cabins are fully furnished and come with sufficient closet space, a mini-fridge, and mini bathrooms. The insides and Promenade views are 152 and 149 square feet, respectively, while the outside cabins range between 161 and 200 square feet. The balcony cabins range from 177 square feet for the Deluxe and 180 square feet for the Superior. The suites range from 287 to 1406 square feet in size.

Related Cruise Ships
  Adventure of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)
  Allure of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)
  Brilliance of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)
  Enchantment of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)
  Explorer of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)
  Freedom of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)
  Grandeur of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)
  Jewel of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)
  Legend of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)
  Liberty of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)
  Majesty of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)
  Mariner of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)
  Monarch of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)
  Navigator of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)
  Oasis of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)
  Radiance of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)
  Rhapsody of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)
  Serenade of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)
  Splendour of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)
  Vision of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)
  Voyager of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)

Ship Summary
Operator:Royal Caribbean International
Built by:Aker Finnyards of Turku, Finland
Date Completed:2008
Gross Tonnage:154407
Length:338.92 m
Width:56 m
Decks:15
Passengers:4370
Crew:1360
IMO:9349681