Our last three cruises had been on Carnival, but for our family cruise last May, we decided to go back on Royal Caribbean. It had been 10 years since we sailed on Royal Caribbean, and we really wanted to finally sail on one of the ships with the Royal Promenade...
We also wanted to visit islands we had never seen before, so we chose to sail on the beautiful Independence of the Seas...here it is docked at our first port stop: St. Maarten.

Independence of the Seas is one of the Freedom Class ships: these ships are 1,112 feet long and 183 feet wide with a 160,000+ gross tonnage, making them now the third biggest ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet after the new Quantum Class begins sailing in the two weeks. Quantum Class ships are 1,141 feet and 136 feet wide with a 167,000+ gross tonnage. Of course, the Oasis Class ships are the largest: 1,186 feet long and 213 feet wide, giving them an incredible 225,000+ gross tonnage. Here the Allure of the Seas sails out of Port Everglades just a few minutes before we departed...believe me, that is a BIG ship!
Port Everglades is a very busy port...as many as five major cruise ships can depart on a Sunday afternoon in May. Here our ship's sister ship, Liberty of the Seas, also departed just prior to us...
As the Independence of the Seas departed Port Everglades, I was able to snap a photo of the other two Royal Caribbean ships sailing ahead of us to other tropical paradises. Allure of the Seas is on the right; Liberty of the Seas is on the right.
We would soon join these ships out in the waters of the Atlantic, sailing off to the island of St. Maarten. It would take two days to reach the island, so we had plenty of time to explore the ship. I'll give you a brief tour on my next blog 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.

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