Hi! Hope this finds you and your family doing well, and enjoying the peaceful and comforting Grace of our Lord.
On Monday, October 31, 2022, we boarded the Royal Caribbean cruise ship “Independence of the Seas” in Port Canaveral, Florida, and sailed on a 4-day cruise to the Bahamas.
This is the first of 3 articles on this cruise.
Part 1 will show:
– Our cruisng background,
– Cruise itinerary
– General Ship Information
– Embarkation Day (Day 1)
– Day at Sea (Day 2)
– Views inside and outside the ship
This was the fifth cruise we’ve been on, with the others being:
– 3-day cruise to the Bahamas from Miami, FL on the Royal Caribbean ship “Sovereign of the Seas” (October, 1998)
– 7-day cruise to the western Caribbean from Miami, FL on the Norwegian ship “Norwegian Sun” (January, 2003)
– 7-day cruise to Alaska from Whittier, Alaska on the Princess ship “Island Princess” (August, 2004)
– 7-day cruise to the eastern Caribbean from Miami, FL on the Norwegian ship “Norwegian Dawn” (March, 2008)
Independence of the Seas:
– In Service: May 2, 2008
– Refurbished: April, 2018
– Size: 154,407 tons, 1,112 ft. long, 185 ft. wide
– Max Number of Passengers: 4,560
– Number of Crew: 1,440
– Number of Decks: 15
– Number of Staterooms: 1,929
This is the largest ship we’ve been on.
The following photo was provided by Royal Caribbean’s “Press Center” site.
I could never find a way to photograph the whole ship! 🙂
Embarkation Day (Day 1)
We spent Saturday night and Sunday in Lakeland, FL so we could attend services at nearby Little Union Primitive Baptist Church on Sunday morning.
We left the hotel early on Monday (10-31) to ensure we would get to Port Canaveral well before our 12:30 pm check in reservation.
The boarding process went very smoothly, and we were able to board around 11:30 am.
Our luggage arrived at our room in mid-afternoon, so we had plenty of time to eat at the buffet restaurant (Windjammer) and look around this beautiful ship.
Here are some scenes of Port Canaveral…
A view east towards the ocean, taken as we walked up the gangway into the ship.
A view west.
Note the three cruise ships
– Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas
– Disney’s Wish
– Carnival ship (name unknown)
We’d see the Anthem and Wish on Day 3 in Nassau.
A view south/southeast over the big reception building and parking deck.
With our early arrival, we got a great parking spot inside not far from where we entered the reception building.
Looking east towards the ocean.
Note another Carnival ship near the mouth of the port.
Day at Sea (Day 2)
I always enjoy having a day at sea on a cruise. On some of the 7-day cruises, we had two!
This being the first full day at sea and the first time on this ship, I spent most of the time walking around the ship to see the details of each area.
Got up early each morning and always went to the bow of the ship to see the sunrise.
I was never disappointed…
Note the rain coming out of the distant clouds.
I enjoy the way each “phase” of the sunrise is different.
The beauty of the Lord’s Creation can be seen in each detail!
This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
The Main Dining Room is where we ate our supper.
It was something we looked forward to each night…
The Main Dining Room is located in the middle of the ship on decks 3, 4, and 5.
This was taken from deck 5.
This was our table each night, number 405 on deck 4.
Our waiters each night.
(L-R): Nilesh, Assistant Waiter; Vishnu, Waiter
They provided us with friendly and efficient service.
The Windjammer is the buffet restaurant, located on deck 11.
We typically ate breakfast and lunch there.
The Royal Theater provided nightly shows (musical, dancing) and other forms of entertainment.
The theater included main and balcony levels.
The Cruise Director, Ricky Matthews, introduced each show.
The second night included a funny and talented juggler (that’s a bowling ball on his head!).
The Ice Rink Theater featured some excellent skating shows with music.
First time we’ve seen ice skating on a cruise ship!
The skating and music made for an enjoyable evening.
This “indoor mall” was located on deck 5 and consisted of:
– Shops (expensive)
– Pizza restaurant (free)
– Deli restaurant (free, open 24 hrs)
Morning view of the Promenade.
The (free) Pizza place on the left was always popular (especially with me 🙂)
Busy place at night.
There were two elevator areas, both with glass and traditional, non-glass elevators.
The glass elevators gave a nice view into the open, interior of the ship.
From the Top (Decks 12-13)
These decks offered nice views of and from the ship.
Looking aft over the “Flowrider” surfing simulator.
Adjacent to this is the “Perfect Storm” tubular water slides (2). I only had a video of these, which will be featured in the YouTube movie I create for this cruise.
One of two pool areas on top of the ship.
A fun, 9-hole miniature golf course is nicely themed.
Deck 4 Walkaround
A covered walking path goes around the entire 4th deck.
Stairs near the bow go up to the helipad and bow viewing area.
Note the lifeboats overhead.
The life jackets are stored nearby.
The helipad at the bow of the ship.
This is the area I went to each morning early to see the sunrise.
I always enjoy a day at sea, when we can relax and enjoy the ship and views of the ocean.
Part 2 of this cruise documentary shows the Day 3 visit to Nassau, Bahamas, and can be seen here: 2022 Bahamas Cruise – Day 3
Part 3 of this cruise documentary shows the Day 4 visit to Coco Cay – Royal Caribbean’s private island in the Bahamas.
This article can be seen here: 2022 Bahamas Cruise – Day 4