A Royal Caribbean Cruise to The Bahamas
Are you looking for tons of fun with friends and family, unlimited food, and incredible service ON the water? Then this cruise is for you! The cruise we chose was aboard the Independence of the Seas with Royal Caribbean, departing from Port Canaveral, Florida. The cruise lasted 5 days and travelled to Royal Caribbean’s private island in the Bahamas, Perfect Day at Coco Cay and Nassau, Bahamas. It also included an entire day on the sea, making time to participate in the many activities available on the ship. If you’re interested in learning more, keep on reading!
1. The Boat - Independence of the Seas
Now, we have never been on a cruise before, so we really did not know what to expect when it came to the boat itself. Let’s just say, we were absolutely amazed! The boat was comprised of 15 decks that featured pools, theaters, game shows, musical and instrumental performances, comedy, ice skating, mini golf, arcades, and thousands of staterooms, where passengers resided. Our favorite areas of the boat were Deck 12, or the deck above the pools, and Deck 5, the Promenade. Deck 12 was the best area to sit out at nighttime and stargaze, as well as get away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds on the rest of the ship. We spent several hours sitting here in the evenings relaxing, as well as soaking up the sun during the day. The Promenade on Deck 5 was the opposite experience, featuring restaurants, shops, and interactive events. Our personal favorite stop on the Promenade was Sorrento’s, Royal Caribbean’s pizza place. Sorrento’s was open longer than every other restaurant or buffet on the ship, making it a hub for people with late night cravings. The pizza was yummy, and UNLIMITED! That can get pretty dangerous… One last area of the boat to shout out is Deck 4. If you get a chance, go out to one of the sides of Deck 4 to get a closeup view of whatever body of water you’re sailing in. Sit and relax with your loved ones, and take advantage of the quiet atmosphere this area provides. You will find that there are not many places on the ship as peaceful as this.
2. Dining Experience
This was our absolute favorite part of the cruise itself. As many of you probably already know, one of the biggest perks of cruising is unlimited food. I am pleased to say… we took FULL advantage of this perk… almost too much! But seriously, the dining experiences we had on board were impeccable. We started off our cruise with a speciality lunch (included only with the purchase of The Key… more information on this later) in the Main Dining Room, a gorgeous three story, elegant dining area, featuring a specialty menu from Chop’s Grille. This was the perfect start to our dining experience, as every meal met the same standard, and more than anything else, the dining room staff were always there to ensure you were taken care of. Our wait staff, Cherie and Putra (who we have to shout out because they were just that amazing), were what truly made our dining experience so special. Not only was the dinner and dessert always great, but we had the exact same waiters every night who would call us by our first names and were interested in getting to know us as people! They always made sure we were satisfied and took care of us. They were more than happy to put in second orders for us if we weren’t satisfied with our first choice, and they did not laugh at us when we ordered two desserts…! We truly looked forward to dinner every night because of them. (This trend continues on throughout the entirety of the staff aboard the Independence of the Seas. We had nothing but wonderful experiences with all of the employees aboard this ship!)
In addition to the Main Dining Room, we spent some time in the Windjammer Cafe, which is a buffet-style dining area. This cafe featured the same foods as the Main Dining area, however you did not have assigned seating and were required to wait on yourself. For some people, this was a better option because it offered more flexibility when it came to dining times. One con to this style of dining was that we had difficulty finding seating each time we ate here. It was often extremely crowded, and did not offer the same elegant experience as the Main Dining Room. We definitely recommend choosing to eat in the Main Dining Room, as it is available to everyone at no additional cost and provides an stress-free, elevated dining experience.
Other dining options included Sorrento’s Pizzeria (which we previously mentioned), Cafe Promenade (which offers small desserts and sandwiches/wraps), and Fish and Ships (a poolside bar featuring finger foods such as chicken fingers and fried shrimp). The ship also offers specialty restaurants, like Chops Grille, Giovanni’s Table, Chef’s Table, Vintages, Johnny Rocket’s, Izumi, and Playmakers Bar and Arcade. Oh! And definitely make sure you take advantage of the free soft serve ice cream on Deck 11… thank us later!
3. Activities Aboard the Ship
Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas promises an unforgettable experience filled with excitement and entertainment. This incredible cruise ship offers a wide range of activities and shows that will keep you entertained from the moment you step on board until the final farewell. Let’s explore some of the fantastic activities and attractions you can enjoy during your voyage:
1. Ice Skating Show:
The Independence of the Seas boasts an ice skating rink, and it’s not just for casual skating. Get ready to be dazzled by a jaw-dropping ice skating show that combines incredible choreography with stunning costumes and lighting effects. It’s a unique and unforgettable experience that you won’t want to miss.
2. Grease the Musical:
For theater enthusiasts, the ship features a full-scale production of the hit musical, “Grease.” Feel the nostalgia as you watch talented performers bring Danny, Sandy, and the rest of the Pink Ladies and T-Birds to life on stage. Sing along to classic tunes like “Summer Nights” and “You’re the One That I Want.”
3. Basketball Court:
If you’re a sports enthusiast, the basketball court on board will be your haven. Gather your fellow passengers for a friendly game of hoops while taking in breathtaking ocean views. It’s a fantastic way to stay active and enjoy the fresh sea breeze.
4. Game Shows:
Participate in or watch thrilling game shows that will have you laughing, strategizing, and testing your knowledge. Whether you’re a contestant or an audience member, these interactive events are a great way to make new friends and create lasting memories.
5. Rock Climbing Wall:
Feel the thrill of conquering the ship’s rock climbing wall. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced climber, this activity offers a unique perspective of the ship and a great workout. The feeling of reaching the top and looking out over the ocean is simply exhilarating.
If you’ve ever dreamt of surfing while cruising the seas, the FlowRider is the place to be. This surf simulator generates endless waves for both beginners and experienced riders. It’s an adrenaline-pumping adventure that’s perfect for riders of all ages.
7. Mini Golf:
For a more relaxed activity, challenge your friends and family to a round of mini-golf. The beautifully landscaped course is perfect for golfers of all skill levels, and it offers a fun way to enjoy the great outdoors while at sea.
4. Perfect Day at Coco Cay, Bahamas
It is safe to say that our favorite day of the entire cruise was the day we spend at Royal Caribbean’s private island, Perfect Day at Coco Cay. Once again, unlimited food is available here! Find your favorite fruits, veggies, burgers, tacos, and ice cream at Skipper’s Grill, Captain Jack’s, Chill Grill, and Snack Shack. The island features beaches, pools, and an entire water park. We spent a good amount of time at Harbor Beach, which we thoroughly enjoyed. It was not overcrowded and the sand was so soft! We also spent time at the Oasis Lagoon pool, which features a swim up bar and tons of space to splash around. Music was pumping all day long and everyone around us was having a blast! We spent the last part of our day at Chill Island and Chill Grill, another beach area and walk up outdoor restaurant. We chose not to purchase tickets to the water park, because we wanted to enjoy the island for its beaches and pools, and we were not disappointed!
5. One Day in Nassau, Bahamas
Our one day in Nassau, Bahamas, during our Royal Caribbean cruise aboard the Independence of the Seas was nothing short of a great time. The highlight of the day was our visit to the legendary Atlantis resort. We embarked on a journey to the depths of the ocean as we explored “The Dig,” a captivating underwater world within the hotel. Walking through the tunnels surrounded by mesmerizing marine life was an unforgettable experience. We also strolled around the luxurious hotel grounds, taking in the opulent architecture and relaxing on the pristine beach.
For those seeking more adventure, Nassau offers a plethora of exciting options. The Atlantis Waterpark promises a day of thrilling rides and water adventures, perfect for families and thrill-seekers alike. If you’re up for something truly unique, consider swimming with the famous Bahamas pigs, an activity that’s as quirky as it is fun. Additionally, The Bahamas is one of the best places to scuba dive and great sightseeing tours are also available. Pro Tip: Bring cash if you want to get anywhere while you’re there!
6. The Key - VIP Experience
When booking your cruise, you will be presented with tens of hundreds of options to upgrade your booking. We typically, never upgrade because we tend to find that most upgrades are not worth what is being charged, but we absolutely recommend upgrading to The Key for your next Royal Caribbean cruise. Here’s why – First off, it includes your VOOM Surf and Stream internet service for one device per cruiser. (The cost of internet alone is $17.99 per device, per day). If you want to use your device on the boat, you will need to purchase this anyway. If you plan to make this purchase, then definitely consider purchasing The Key instead. Next, when you first arrive at the port to board the boat, you get to skip the entire line (saving 2-3 hours!) with The Key Priority Boarding. This takes you through a special line, skipping the check in process and fast tracking your trip through security. You then get to drop any extra luggage with The Key staff, who will later deliver it right to your stateroom for you. This perk gets you on the boat in roughly 20-30 minutes, ready to enjoy your specialty lunch! Additional perks include designated times to utilize the Rock Climbing Wall and the FlowRider, designated VIP seating to shows onboard, as well as a speciality breakfast prior to departing the boat on the last day. Once again, you get priority departure, allowing you to exit the boat first and skip the line for customs! All of these perks are well worth the price of The Key, which stands between $24.99-$29.99 per cruiser per day. (Royal Caribbean offers pre-cruise discounts so keep an eye out!). For more great content, check out my other blogs or visit this post for awesome places to visit around the world!
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