Independence of the Seas 9 September 2016

10 Canaries cruise

Southampton, Funchal, Tenerife, Las Palmas, Lanzarote, Vigo, Southampton 

Our seventh cruise together

We decided to book this cruise on Independence of the Seas as last time we sailed with Independence of the Seas we loved her and we heard that she was sailing around the Canary Islands in September so we thought what a great way to explore the Canary Islands.

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Royal Caribbean – Independence of the Seas Our second cruise together was June 2012 which we sailed from Southampton and visited Gibralter, Toulon, Livorono, Civitavecchia, Ajaccio, Cadiz, Lisbon and Vigo. We returned on her for our seventh cruise September 2016 we sailed from Southampton and visited Funchal, Tenerife, Las Palmas, Lanzarote and Vigo. Then again for our tenth cruise on June 2017 we sailed from Southampton and visited Stavanger, Kristiansand, Oslo, Copenhagen and Skagen. @royalcaribbean #royalcaribbean #royalcaribbeanindependenceoftheseas #independenceoftheseas #sailing #sea #ocean #cruise #ship #couple #travel #2012 #2016 #2017 #summer2012 #spring2016 #summer2017 #meditterean #europe #canaries #norway #norwegian #cruising #traveller #southampton #blogger #wow #royalmemories

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Cabin

7710 – Balcony cabin at the aft (back) of the ship.

Royal King size bed, sofa be, TV, telephone, minibar, bathroom with shower, vanity area and a hair-dryer.

This cabin was very spacious as it was at the very back of the ship.  However unlike the balcony we experienced last time this one was slightly smaller and had more iron beams in the way.  However as we had cabins above and below us it was quite within inside.  However sitting out on the balcony was loud due to the rush of the waves from the propellers.

Our cruise adventure log    

The Canaries provided us with sun and many adventures from camel riding in Lanzarote to riding a toboggan down the hills of Funchal in Portugal.

Day 1 – boarding the ship at Southampton

On boarding Independence of the Seas at Southampton we headed straight to the Windjammer as it was lunchtime and to our delight we saw a lovely cake welcoming everyone on-board from the culinary team.  How thoughtful.

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During the rest of the afternoon we unpacked and went around the ships and played a few quiz’s.  From the off we made a great connection with the entertainment staff in particular Tom. Later in the evening there was a welcome on-board parade performed by many of the crew even the chefs.

For dinner in the evening we went and ate in the main dining area and on the menu was snails.  So I thought I would try them.

Did I like the snails?

But I did not like the snails they were slimy, garlicky and had a strong taste of mushroom. I usually like mushroom but the taste was extremely strong.  Thankfully I could order something else.

For dessert I had apple crumble so least this bought a smile back on my face and made my stomach feel better.

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Day 2 – at sea

Today we was at sea so we played a golf tournament.  I came second.

I was also going to give the rock climbing another go but unfortunately it was closed off for maintenance.

As we was at sea the casino was open practically all day so we went and played some roulette but I never noticed last time in how nearly everything is James Bond related. for dinner we ate in the main dining room again at our favourite table in the corner next to a window. Even though the food was luke warm I must admit the curry was delicious.

In the evening we went and saw a musical show with plenty of dancing and singing.

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When I got back to the cabin there it was a towel animal, woop.

This was a rabbit how cute is she.

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Day 3 – at sea

This is our balcony which you can see is very spacious not all balcony’s are like this though usually you will only ever be able to fit two chairs on a balcony but with the balcony you can fit in lidos.  We had two chairs and two lidos so it was a lovely private break away from other sun loungers out on the decks.

Around lunchtime we booked ourself onto a special tour of the galley where we got to see where all the food is prepared for the main dining rooms.  We saw bread in all shapes and sizes, beef wellingtons being made, chefs peeling vegetables and so much more.  Was a real insight in what goes on and how much work goes into making each dish.

After we got to have lunch with unlimited drink.  The food was great and so much of it and plenty of drink I did not know which to drink first my rose or red wine.  We was even given a bottle of prosecco to take back to our cabin.  Result.

Late afternoon we went and saw a marvellous show on ice.  The skaters all performed spectacularly from flips, jumps, turns and even a head banger.  There was even a great professional violinist on ice called Joanne who comes from Poland.  You could also purchase her CD after.  Here is a link to listen and purchase her CD online.

Like with all Royal Caribbean cruises there is a car and I have seen this car before as I have sailed with Independence of the Ships before but this time I just had to pretend I that I have been run over by it.

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In the evening we went and saw some world wide champion Beat Boxers.  They were amazing and no wonder they are champions.  I saw them later in the Windjammer buffet area when I was seeking out my cookies for the night.

Before going to bed for the night though walking along the decks outside we saw this beautiful sunset so just had to get a photo with it.

Day 4 – Maderia

Today we arrive in Maderia.  Madeira is a Portuguese archipelago situated in the north Atlantic Ocean, southwest of Portugal.

Waking up in the morning I passed this extra large bottle of champagne which I have passed many times throughout the cruise but I just this time had to get a photo with it.

Wonder if I could drink it all by myself?

When I was in the Windjammer getting my breakfast along with Jason we bumped into one of the other Beat Boxers from last night so just had to get a photo with him.

So today me and Jason went on an excursion to go on the cable car and then to Toboggan down Funchal roads.  The basket was scary and at times I thought we was going to crash in the walls going on down the hill but the drivers who steer the toboggan made sure that did not happen.  Was an adrenaline rush. Even though I most likely would not do again as done it I do highly recommend it.

At the end before heading back to the cruise we had a stop at this lovely sandy beach.

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On-board for dinner we went and ate in Chops Grill which there is a slight charge to eat there.  It was lovely to see the staff that we met on our last cruise with Indy was still there.

As they recognised us and had built a relationship with them last time they gave us some free Prosecco to enjoy along with our dinner. I was in a dilemma.

Which to drink first my favourite Rose wine or my Prosecco?

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For starters I had my usual grilled Goats Cheese which literally melts in your mouth. Jason had delicious lush scallops.  For our mains we both had fillet steak which sliced like butter and melted in the mouth. For our desserts Jason had a chocolate cake and I had a melting chocolate pud. The chocolate literally oozed out of it.

As the end we just had to have a photo with the amazing staff who serve in the restaurant as they are top the best.

Afterwards we went and saw Gareth Oliver who is a ventriloquism and takes it to a whole new level. A master of improvisation and an ambassador for the nonconformist. You can find out more about him via clicking here.

Much later in the evening me and Jason went and chilled on a lido and watched a movie at night at the pool side.

Which movie is showing do you reckon?

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Time for bed. This is a dinosaur.

Which dinosaur do you think this is?

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Day 5 – Tenerife 

Tenerife is the home to Mount Teide, Spain’s tallest peak. One of the other main attractions in Tenerife is the Loro Park. It is also known for Parque Nacional Las Canadas del Teide’s volcanic rock formations in which we decided to go and see today by jeep with a planned excursion run by Royal Caribbean.

Firstly though we had breakfast on our balcony and took in the views of the many mountains and volcanoes of Tennerife.

So this was it the jeep.  We was slightly disappointed though in the driver as he could hardly speak any English and everyone else who was in the other jeeps seemed to have drivers that could speak English so we could not communicate easily and find out about the area with ours.  The views though were spectacular very volcanic.

In the evening after a kip coming back from the long jeep safari we went and watched another ice skating show. In amongst the audience we saw the Godmother of the ship which we hard was on-board.  She seemed to really enjoy the show which was fantastic.

For dinner we ate in the main dining area and to our delight they had Beef Wellington so we just had to have it as we love Beef Wellington. It was cooked to perfection.

Afterwards we heard there was a line dancing class going on the upper deck outside so we just had to go and have a go whilst up there we bumped into some fiends that we made on earlier throughout the cruise Daz and Shelly.  It was fun.

Day 6 – Gran Canaria

We decided to take a horse and cart ride today to discover more about Gran Canaria.  We came across a castle which was interesting and some unusual statues and art work, in particular the whale tail. The horse we had was quite amusing as he did not like grill plates or sewage covers so whenever we came across them he done a funny dance around them.

We went back on board around lunchtime and had a good old Beef and Ale pie by Gingsters.

For the rest of the afternoon we had a game of archery and a relax in the large jacuzzi which was empty as most people were still off the ship venturing around Gran Canaria.

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In the evening we went and saw the Hypnotist Christoper Caress who we actually have seen perform on Independence of the Seas. Jason in fact even put himself forward but fortunately he could not be hypnotised as he was not calm and focused enough.  The show was hilarious though despite Jason not being part of the s

For the evening we went and ate in the main dining area. I paid a small charge to have lobster whilst Jason had steak.  My lobster was amazing. We both had a crumble after with ice-cream.

When I got back to the cabin I was welcomed by a lovely pig with style as he was wearing Jason’s dickie bow.

I called the pig Jason.

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Day 7 – Lanzarote 

For today we booked an excursion with Royal Caribbean to adventure Lanzarote on a camel.  It was really good fun. Jason was a bit scared but once we was up and riding he was fine.  Not sure if the camel was though having me and Jason both on him.

Plus after I just had to get a selfie with the camel we rode as he was beautiful.  However I think he took a shine to me as the amount of photos I took with him he kept trying to kiss me.

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After we went on to the volcano and area of Los Hervideros in where we got to hold some hot lava rock and see some potatoes being cooked over the heat of the lava.

This was the landscape around Los Hervideros.

When we got back on-board we saw there was a man carving in fruit.  It is amazing how skilled some of these chefs are. I just had to get my photo with him.

This evening we ate in the main dining room Romeo and Juliet. The food was great especially the chocolate moose.

For the evenings entertainment we went and watched musical performance. It was funny especially the man in the bath.

For the rest of the night we made use of the casino and strolled along the promenade looking at the shops and having snack with Daz and Shelly at Sorrento’s cafe.

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Day 8 – at sea

Today we went and played some quiz’s with Daz and Shelly.

During the afternoon when me and Jason was strolling the promenade we bumped into the Godmother of the ship.  She was lovely and we learnt that she became Godmother of Independence of the Seas as her daughter entered into a competition and as she does such amazing work for charity this is why she was chosen over everyone else whom entered.

In the evening we booked to play the Murder Mystery in Giovannis the Italian restaurant on board Indy. It was so much fun and I am so pleased we done it. If you love Murder Mysteries then I highly recommend this.

Question is who done it?

At the end we just had to have a snap shot with all the cast from the Murder Mystery.

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Really later on in the evening we went and watched the Quest.  This is a funny adult scavenger hunt that happens in one location with audience participation.  There are six teams and each team requires two members of the audience.  The scavanger hunt then begins with and all chaos let’s loose with bra’s flying over audience members heads to men dancing in ladies high heels. A laugh a minute.  The winning team’s two captain’s get to take away a bottle of wine each.

Joff Eaton always runs it really well and Tom one of the entertainment crew made it very entertaining.

When we got back to the cabin tonight after having such a great laugh we was welcomed by a monkey hanging from one of the coat hangers.

Just had to do a monkey pose.

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Day 9 – Vigo

Today when we arrived in Vigo we was happy to see Segways near the harbour port so we just had to ride it.  We both love Segways so we was highly delighted and excited.  The whole tour was run to a smooth operation and we managed to see the town in such a fun way zooming down the roads and town.

After our adventure we had the guts to go on the Flow Rider which we have constantly put off every time we have sailed with Independence of the Seas. It was quite scary to be honest and the water was fast and hard but I certainly do recommend it as was fun.

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This is a video of me below.

Tonight was formal night so we went along to see a musical at the theatre. Firstly Jason had to get a photo with some of the entertainment crew.

Plus one with me.

Joff Eaton introduced the performance beforehand.  There was so much going on from singing, dancing and flying through the air.

In the evening we ate in the main dining area and just had to get our photo with the amazing waiters on this nigh whilst we was all dressed up.

Later in the evening there was a farewell fun British parade with so many songs from Britain being played and acted out even the British Anthem.

Jason with the entertainment crew after.

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Day 10 – at sea

This was the last day on-board. So we went and saw how The Progressive Quiz was going.  We had not done the other three segments to this which usually take place on a sea day but that did not matter as still fun watching others and seeing who wins.

During the afternoon we went and grabbed one of the lovely pizzas at Sorrento’s as they do the best pizzas.

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Later afternoon we went and watched a performance from holiday makers doing the Thriller dance which they have been learning throughout the cruise on certain days. They were great and looked great.

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Afterwards we played a good old game of Bingo.  Alas we never won.

Then a quiz along with Daz and Shelly to try and win some of that amazing Royal Caribbean merhandise of plastic keyrings, pens etc to add to our collection.

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In the evening for our last meal on-board Indy we decided to eat at our favourite restaurant Chops Grill to have a delicious fillet steak.

Then it was onto a show at the theatre.  Before entering the theatre bumped into Tom who was being the usher on thee door tonight and as it was his birthday and he was displaying his badge so cool I just had to get a photo with him.

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A Farewell performance was played out by dancers, singers and even Joanne the Violinist in which we saw performing in the ice show couple of days back.

When we got back to the cabin tonight was welcomed by a scorpion with a real sting in his tail.

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Before going to sleep we also looked at our medals which we achieved throughout the cruise from playing sports tournaments such as golf and archery.

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Never won so many in one cruise but then again we was far more active this time around playing many tournaments.

Day 11 – disembarking at Southampton

Farewell Independence of the Seas or Indy as everyone calls her we will miss you until next time.

 

Highlights and negatives

Highlights

  • Riding the segway around Vigo.
  • Camel riding in Lanzarote.
  • Tom one of the entertainment crew members who is one of our best.
  • The galley tour.
  • Murder Mystery was so fun and very funny.
  • The many meals we had at Chops Grill from the food to the staff.
  • Winning so many medals for sports events even though was for second or third place.
  • Towel animals especially the monkey.

Negatives

  • There is no chocolates on the pillow anymore.
  • No wine to be won in the evening anymore just more Royal Caribbean merchandise.

Tips

Pre-book any speciality dining restaurants to secure a table as they can get booked quickly.

 

As we took this cruise many years ago and we was not writing a blog back then so these memories and notes are back from what I can remember of our trip. .

Have you sailed on Independence of the Seas before and what did you think?


 

NOTE: Royal Caribbean is always updating and improving their ships so I am sure that since my trip it has been updated. Discover the latest about Voyager of the Seas and upcoming itineraries via clicking here.

 

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