All that sunbathing and swimming will make a cruise passenger hungry and thirsty, so thankfully on Deck 11 is the Windjammer Cafe and Jade Sushi and Asian-fusion cuisine. Serving buffet-style breakfast and lunch (usually until around 3:00 p.m.), it is easy to walk into the Windjammer (make sure to cover up as no swimsuits are allowed), load up a plate and head right back out to your lounge chair to continue soaking up the sun rays.

On the last sail day, the chefs of the Windjammer thanked all the passengers by baking a huge cake for the passengers to munch on...

Of course there are those passengers who remain dedicated to their fitness routine even on a Caribbean cruise. The Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, (purposedly located at the opposite end of the ship from the Windjammer Cafe?), the fitness center has dozens of the most modern exercise equipment to work off all those calories...
and even a boxing ring if you would like to learn to box...

My preferred way of burning off those calories was to just stroll the jogging track on Deck 12 and gaze out at the beautiful blue Caribbean. Here's a view of the track with the beautiful island of Haiti in the background as we sail into Labadee.

I'll finish my tour of the ship in the next post.

All photos in this blog post were taken by my husband and me during our Caribbean cruise in May, 2014



Taking a glass elevator ride past Decks 6 through 10 which only have passenger cabins, let's head to the second most popular area of our cruise ship, Deck 11, where all of the pools (for adults and kids) and whirlpools are located.
Near the front end of the ship is the Solarium, the adults-only area. Deck chairs and "palm trees" surround the swimming pool with a wooden bridge crossing over it.

On each side of the pool are two cantilevered, glass-covered whirlpools...they extend a full 12-feet beyond the side of the ship. The large panels of glass allow for spectacular views of the water below you. This was one of my favorite places...

Located behind the Solarium is the main pool area with both a "Main" pool and "Sports" Pool. 
Everything from Ms. Biceps contests, line dancing, volleyball games, belly dancing and belly flop contests took place. There are three whirlpools and the large outdoor movie screen where current movies were played nightly.

The photo below was taken on an early morning sea day right after the brief 10-minute rain shower stopped. It was the only rain we had the entire cruise.
Later when the skies cleared and the sun came out, the deck chairs, pools and whirlpools were very crowded...

Both big kids and little kids enjoyed the H2O Zone, located in the area behind the main and sports pools. There is a very shallow area for young children containing very colorful sculptures that spray water. There are also two whirlpools plus a circular 3½-foot deep pool where adult guests can cool off.

The two photos below were taken from up on Deck 14...

Also on Deck 11 are the Windjammer Cafe and the Vitality at Sea Fitness Center. I'll include those in my next post.

Thank you for visiting,

A Great Europe Trip Planner 

All photos in this post were taken by my husband and me during our Caribbean cruise in May, 2014.



I loved the Deck Six location of our cabin on Independence of the Seas. A short walk down the corridor and down one flight of stairs led us right to the main attraction of the ship: the Royal Promenade.

From the stairs we would walk between the two sets of glass elevators and cross over... 

the beautiful glass bridge which leads to the four-deck tall Royal Promenade...

To the left of the bridge is the Champagne Bar where glasses of bubbly await...

To the right of the bridge is the Guest Services and Shore Excursion desk which you can see in the background of the photo below...

There are so many duty-free shops (like an exclusive Michael Kors shop), restaurants and stores featuring jewelry and clothing located along this beautiful floating mall...let's take a stroll! Our first stop is to check out what's new in Royal Caribbean cruising at Adventures and perhaps book our next Royal Caribbean vacation.


Awake and hungry at 3:00 a.m.? We had just enjoyed solitude in a whirlpool on the pool deck (yes, at 3:00 a.m.), so afterwards we headed down to Cafe Promanade for some coffee and pastry before heading back to our cabin for a few hours of sleep. Cafe Promanade is open 24 hours.

Wine lover? You need to check out Vintages, the first-ever wine bar on a cruise ship. Not only do they offer glasses or bottles of red or white wine, wine-tasting events are held so passengers can try new wines or indulge in favorites.

There is even a vintage Morgan automobile parked outside the wine bar.

Opposite of Vintages is the English-themed Dog and Badger pub for those who prefer beer to wine. The pub features authentic Irish, British and European beers on tap.

In addition to Ben & Jerry's ice cream and the Cupcake Cupboard (both cost extra $$), another complimentary eatery is the Sorrento's Pizza which serves not only pretty good slices of pizza, but sandwiches and pastries 24 hours a day.  In the photo below, Sorrento's is shown on the left.

A view of the interior of Sorrento's.

Finally at the aft-end of Deck 5 is the Pyramid Lounge. Here we saw comedians perform and played silly audience-participation games.

In my next post, we'll continue the tour by visiting the upper decks of the ship.

Thank you for visiting,

A Great Europe Trip Planner 

All photos in this post were taken by my husband and me during our Caribbean cruise in May, 2014.



As I prepare to write the blog post on the cruise ship we sailed on last May, Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas, I realize that I have so many photos of the ship that I'm going to have to break it down into several posts, by touring the ship the easiest way I could think, showing different areas, deck by deck.

We'll start on Deck 3 where you will find something not found on too many other cruise ships: Studio B, the ice skating rink!
Not only is there a professional ice show on the boat, but passengers can also enjoy free skating time on sea days. (Helmet-wearing is mandatory.)

Moving up to Deck 4, you really begin to see the spectacular beauty of the ship. At the stern end of the ship is the three-story dining room; we ate on the middle level Macbeth Dining Room which is on Deck 4. Our table was located along the rail, so we had a perfect view of the upper (Macbeth Dining Room) and lower dining levels (Romeo and Juliet Dining Room).

Every night we ate dinner in the dining room, usually ordering more than one appetizer, entree and dessert as one is supposed to do when cruising...

Independence of the Seas is a beautifully decorated ship; you find areas all around the ship with wonderful artwork. One of my favorites was the display of these glass flowers...
located on a wall separating the two sides of the Bolero Lounge where Latin music and mojitos flowed throughout the cruise.
I love the pretty iron scroll work on the porthole windows...
Walk past the Bolero Lounge and through the photo gallery (where all those photos taken by the ship's photographers end up), you come to Casino Royale...
One of several lighted glass staircases that are all over the ship...

Another of the colorful, lighted staircases leading up to the next deck...

Exiting out the other side of the casino, you can enter the upper level of the two-story nightclub, The Labryrinth.
I like the stained glass window decorations...


The upper level...the stairs lead down to the dance floor.
The bar: note how the backs of the stools are "gothic-architecture" shaped in keeping with the theme...
The other bar on Deck 4 is the nautically-themed Schooner Bar. Daily, during the mornings and afternoons, all sorts of games and activities are held here.


We have completed the ship's tour up through Deck 4. To get up to Deck 5 and the Royal Promenade, we have to walk up the stairs. These two photos show the beautiful wood, chrome and brass decor of the stairs...just imagine how beautiful the remainder of the ship is.
On the left of the above photo, you can just see the entrance to the five-deck-high Alhambra Theatre, where great song and dance productions take place nearly every night.

In my next post, we'll tour Deck 5 and the Royal Promenade.

Thank you for visiting,

A Great Europe Trip Planner 

All photos were taken by my husband and me during my Caribbean cruise in May, 2014.