26 In Daytripping, Holidays & Travel/ Family Life


Royal caribbean independence of the seas

Each time we drive to Southampton, we see them. Huge, majestic and so far out of reach in every way.  The luxury cruise ships that have graced the Quays over the past sixteen years have been magnificent.  I’ve taken three trips over the sea in my life so far – one on the Red Funnel to the Isle of Wight, the second on The Pride of Bilboa to France for an overnight trip with work; both leaving from Southampton, and thirdly on the Disney Wonder for a Bahamas honeymoon cruise. This weekend we were welcomed onboard my fourth ship – The Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas visitorRoyal Caribbean decided to invite a few bloggers onboard for the day to experience what The Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas [Jensen loved that his middle name, Indiana was the same as the Ship’s nickname, “Indy”] had to offer.  Did we love it?

Take a look…

Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas Royal Arcade

I kind of felt as though this was my spiritual home when I saw that there was a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream parlour on the ship.  Jensen and I could see ourselves being here for breakfast, lunch…and dessert after dinner. I mean, that’s what cruises are for, surely?

Royal Caribbean Independence of the SeasThen we were told that there was a Ben & Jerry’s stateroom!  We headed down there but we won’t spoil the surprise.  It’s moo-arvellous.  After touring quite a few enormous suites where my boys found it fascinating that there were toilets with telephones in them – and a bath in one of them [Lyoto didn’t see the point when there was a whole sea to wash in] and wanted to sit on the verandahs all morning, until they discovered that there was actual ice cream for them on the pool deck.

Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas

We took a tour by the enormous dining room with its glittering chandeliers and stemware.  It was quite possibly the most beautiful place I’ve ever dreamed of dining – and all I could think of was the scene in Titanic where Rose comes down the staircase to see Jack in his tuxedo at the bottom.  Probably not the best thought to pop into my head on a huge ship in Southampton docks [we were at Berth 101, so a little way down the quay], but still.  Jensen found himself a seat and said he would take me to dinner there and we could drink with real grown up glasses.

Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas dining room

We saw an ice rink, huge portholes, arcades and kids clubs – but nothing compared to the pool deck for our boys.  The self serve ice cream machine was the best thing ever.

Royalcaribbean000bRoyal Caribbean Independence of the Seas ice cream Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas family ship royalcaribbean0000g

Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas

After our tummies were full with swirly ice cream, we took a wander down the ship to see the Flow Rider and the spa area.  There were guests with cocktails everywhere and it made me nostalgic for our honeymoon where each day we enjoyed a Disney cocktail of the day.

Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas

Soon it was time for lunch and we headed to my husband’s idea of dining heaven, Johnny Rocket’s.  We were originally seated inside a 1950s diner, but we switched to outside the restaurant because the view from a ship is just the most breathtaking, no matter where you are.  The air, the breeze – it’s paradise even in dock.

Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas johnny rocketsRoyalCaribbean001Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas johnny rockets royalcaribbean000f royalcaribbean000e

So, truly, my husband would take a cruise just for the burgers each day I’m sure – and the milkshakes are delicious.  But then the dancing began.  Oh, the dancing.  Cast members from the restaurant came out to dance to the Bee Gees and my boys just couldn’t resist.  They were up and joining in – and making memories.  Just how a holiday should be.

Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas

Hero was so full and out of puff that he fell asleep after dinner, as our bigger boys made their way to the pool at last!


Let’s just say that it wasn’t the warmest day on deck – but after the initial shock of the cool water, they were away.  That is, until they discovered the hot tubs – then they were alternating between the two and shrieking with laughter.


I sat poolside with Hero nestled in a wrap on his lounger – and thanked my stars I’d bought my mom-bag with me. If you’re after a bag that can do it all, this is it – my Amilie bag from Minene.  You have no idea how much I had in this bag. Seriously. I was like Mary Poppins. Even Spongebob found a place easily.

Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas minene bagRoyal Caribbean Independence of the Seas Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas

Our precious little time in the pool passed so quickly – and as it was turnaround day for the ship, we had to leave.

Someone was still asleep when it was time to go – and so we woke him up for a little family photo before we left [with more ice creams in hand].  That last picture down there?  Jensen took it a little better when we said we had to get off the ship.  Lyoto?  He’s already asking when we are going on holiday on the big boat. Oh boy.

royalcaribbean012 royalcaribbeanfamilyil  Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas top deck

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  • Reply
    August 25, 2016 at 2:28 PM

    I never thought I wanted to go on a cruise but you have changed my mind! It looks totally amazing! Your photos are beautiful x

    • Reply
      Sara-Jayne Jones
      August 25, 2016 at 3:12 PM

      I’m so glad Sonia – my mum has always been worried but now they are booking for October! Thank you so much for the lovely compliment!

  • Reply
    Jacqui @TradesofJacqui
    August 25, 2016 at 2:59 PM

    I love Royal! I was just on Grandeur of the Seas in Baltimore in May. It’s a little older and you can tell. But, we still had a fabulous time! I believe they are drydocking it next year for renovations. Great post!

    • Reply
      Sara-Jayne Jones
      August 25, 2016 at 3:11 PM

      That must have been amazing Jacqui! We see all of these beautiful ships in Southampton docks as we go shopping – but we’d never been on one before, it was the best day!

  • Reply
    Rebecca Swenor
    August 25, 2016 at 4:07 PM

    This sounds like an amazing cruise indeed for the whole family. I have never been on a cruise ship before but would love to take this cruise. The photos are so adorable and the kids look like they are having so much fun. Thanks for sharing your amazing cruise experience.

  • Reply
    Paula Schuck
    August 25, 2016 at 5:26 PM

    Royal Caribbean is a great cruise line. I’d love to take a cruise on the Independence of the Seas. It looks like your family had a great time!

  • Reply
    August 25, 2016 at 5:27 PM

    Looks like a fantastic cruise ship. If one day on it was that great then I can only imagine what a week or so would be like.

  • Reply
    August 25, 2016 at 6:27 PM

    I have to say the title of your blog is so awesome! To the cruise journey, its good that you and your family had a good time. I have never been on one, and I am determined to do one with my family some day.

  • Reply
    August 25, 2016 at 6:53 PM

    I’m always amazed at the size of these cruise ships and all the things they have on them. It looks like you had such a great time!

  • Reply
    HilLesha O'Nan
    August 25, 2016 at 8:32 PM

    These are gorgeous pictures! My husband and I went on a cruise for the first time a couple years ago and we hope to go on another someday. 🙂

  • Reply
    August 25, 2016 at 8:32 PM

    Sounds pretty awesome! I would love to go on a cruise at some point! I think it would be a lot of fun and a good experience i think my kids would freak out too!

  • Reply
    Jenn @ EngineerMommy
    August 25, 2016 at 11:16 PM

    It looks like you guys had so much fun on your vacation. I’ve never been on a cruise, but we are considering going on one later this year!

  • Reply
    August 26, 2016 at 3:43 AM

    That looks like a super fun time, I haven’t been on a cruise before but looks like your family had a lovely time!

  • Reply
    August 26, 2016 at 5:53 AM

    Your images are beautiful! Glad you had such a great time – we haven’t been on a cruise in a very log time.. I bet my kids wold love one.

  • Reply
    Melissa Dixon
    August 26, 2016 at 2:21 PM

    Sounds like you had a great time with your family. I love the way this ship looks and you had me at self serve ice cream. How wonderful!

  • Reply
    August 26, 2016 at 4:21 PM

    i’d never really been too thrilled about the idea of a cruise, but your pics look like so much fun! and you kind of sold me with the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream parlour hhaha.

  • Reply
    Niki - Play & Learn Every Day
    August 26, 2016 at 11:26 PM

    That looks incredible! And I think our families have a similar love of all things ice cream!

  • Reply
    August 27, 2016 at 3:46 AM

    Looks like you had a wonderful time! I love those pictures, so beautiful!

  • Reply
    Nicole Etolen
    August 27, 2016 at 5:07 AM

    What a wonderful experienced. I like to bring my son there and enjoy the moment.

  • Reply
    August 28, 2016 at 12:40 AM

    I love Royal Caribbean! Looks like you all had a wonderful time! Love all of the photos!

  • Reply
    Sarah Ebner
    August 28, 2016 at 1:53 PM

    This really looks fantastic. I know my kids would love it – and not just for the ice cream and milkshakes (though they look AMAZING!!). So much to do there – great for a family trip. And your pictures are so cute and gorgeous.

  • Reply
    Nikka Shae
    August 29, 2016 at 12:36 AM

    Your trip looks amazing!! It’s time for a cruise for my family soon!!

  • Reply
    Marielle Altenor
    August 31, 2016 at 4:03 PM

    What an amazing experience this must have been for your whole family. The photos make me wish I was there too!

  • Reply
    Kara Guppy
    February 5, 2017 at 11:10 AM

    My dad lives in Hythe and we love watching the ships come and go. We would love to do another cruise and go from Southampton – maybe one day

  • Reply
    Agness of Fit Travelling
    March 28, 2017 at 9:00 PM

    It seems like you had an amazing experience, Sara! I love ships!

    • Reply
      Sara-Jayne Jones
      March 29, 2017 at 2:13 PM

      Thank you, we loved it! I’ve only been on two ships [the other was the Disney Cruise] but I love being on the sea!

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