If you’re wondering what you can expect from a Mediterranean cruise onboard Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas, I’ve put together a list of my favourite moments from my two week adventure from Southampton.
First of all, the food! For fourteen days I spent many evenings in the sumptuous main dining room enjoying scrumptious three course dinners.
There’s some awesome view points over Barcelona from Park Güell and if you look closely, you can even see the ship! You can get here by local taxi, it takes between 20-30 minutes for around €12-15 each way.
One of my favourite spots to catch some rays was at the very back of the ship that was often sheltered from the cool sea breeze. This area was near the Sports Court and Flow Rider where you can play mini golf, go rock climbing or take part in a tournament.
The coach drive through Nice from Villfranche-sur-Mer was another memorable moment, the scenes were jaw dropping as we approached the Promenade des Anglais where the sea turns a bright turquoise. This was part of a shore excursion to medieval hill top village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence which you can read about by clicking here.
The entertainment onboard Independence of the Seas has always been superb, particularly the Grease Musical production and guest performance from Darren Day and The Zoots. I also spent some evenings at The Pyramid Lounge with live music from The Royal Swedes, or down at the Karaoke Bar and Boleros for the salsa music.
One thing you’re almost guaranteed on a cruise is a brilliant sunrise and sunset and I saw my fair share over the two weeks. Before retiring to bed I liked stopping off at Sorrentos for Pizza or Cafe Promenande for a hot chocolate as they’re both open 24 hours a day.
We stopped off in Malaga on the Costa del Sol and marvelled at the city’s stunning Cathedral after exploring Gibralfaro castle. We returned to the ship in time for afternoon snacks – the cakes are seriously good, so light and creamy!
The pool deck is split into three areas, the H20 zone for children, a main pool area with a large cinema screen and the quieter Solarium for adults. I cruised with family so the H20 zone was our go-to place when the sun was shining – plus it helps it’s right next to Sprinkles, the frozen yoghurt machine.
I’m always so amazed by the deep blue sky in Cadiz, most likely from it being almost entirely surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. This tightly knit city is crammed with character and I love strolling around to La Caleta beach through the local parks.
If you’re interested in booking a cruise in the near future, read this ‘Ultimate Guide to Cruise Freebies, Discounts and Upgrades‘ article that I contributed to over on the Cruise 1st blog.