TRAVEL
08/18/2011 11:52 am ET | Updated Sep 27, 2011

The Royal Caribbean Independence Of The Seas: A Huffington Post Travel Cruise Ship Guide

The Independence of the Seas is a popular floating resort. The waters are crowded with sea-worthy vessels, so to make planning easier, we've done all the prep work for a cruise vacation. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on cruise ships, here is a tip sheet offering all the key information one could ever need to know about the Independence of the Seas.

European Destinations

The Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas sails around Europe, the Bristish Isles and Spain. The ship stops at ports like Barcelona, Spain, and Le Havre, France. With a width of 185 feet, the Independence of the Seas is far too large to fit through the Panama Canal.

Grand Ship

The Independence of the Seas is the third of the Freedom-class ships in the Royal Caribbean line. In their time, the Freedom-class ocean liners were the largest cruise ships on the seas.

Special Features

Independence of the Seas has the Casino Royale, where passengers may try their hand at poker, blackjack and slot machines. The ship also has many amenities designed to suit families. The rock-climbing wall, ice skating rink and water slide give children plenty to do on board. Lounges, bars and the spa give adults plenty of room to relax.

Accommodations

Interior staterooms and oceanview staterooms on the Independence of the Seas vary in size and may accommodate up to six people. The ship also offers a variety of suites, including the Presidential Family Suite with four bedrooms. Every room features luxury linens and light wood decor with rich, jewel-bright accents.

Cost

Cruise prices on the Independence of the Seas vary depending on the length of the cruise, the destination and the season. A three-night cruise to Le Havre (Paris) can cost as little as $389 per person for an inside cabin and $796 for a suite. A 14-night cruise of the Mediterranean can cost as much as $3,290 per person for an inside stateroom, and $4,529 for a suite.

Excursions

Independence of the Seas passengers recommended the Fire Mountain camel ride excursion at Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. Another recommended excursion was the Madeira toboggan ride, athough some reviewers were put off by the harrowing cable car ride to the top of the mountain.

Dining Experience

Royal Caribbean offers several different dining options. The Independence of the Seas has a three-level main dining room. Passengers may choose assigned seating or "My Time Dining," which offers flexibility. In addition, the Independence boasts two specialty restaurants -- Portofina, an Italian venue that cooks your food at the table, and Chops Grille, a steakhouse. Johnny Rockets serves burgers, fries and shakes, and the ship has 24-hour room service.

Maiden Voyage

The Independence of the Seas was launched April 30, 2008. The ship was named by Elizabeth Hill, who won a contest to name the ship. The Independence embarked on its maiden voyage to the Mediterranean on May 2, 2008.

In The News

According to Australian news reports, 12 passengers from the ship were injured when a dockside oil tank exploded in Gibraltar.

WATCH:

A tour of the Independence of the Seas.

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