When it was refurbished in 2018, Independence of the Seas became the first ship in Royal Caribbean's fleet to get the Royal Amplified treatment, which added the best in cruise entertainment and amenities. That means that you can look forward to fun-filled days, action-packed nights, and delicious food while you cruise the Caribbean.
Thanks to the ship's seemingly endless list of things to do at sea, there is something for every cruiser, regardless of age or interests, which is why Indy is consistently recognized as one of the best ships for families. The Adventure Ocean program offers action-packed programming and kid-only spaces for cruisers aged six months to 17 years, while the adults-only Solarium provides a pool and tranquil environment for those who need a break from the excitement.
The buzziest additions to the ship are definitely the theme park-like amenities, which include dual racing waterslides and SkyPad, which is part virtual reality game and part trampoline bungee. Younger cruisers will go wild for Sugar Beach, a candy shop with a mind-boggling array of rainbow-colored confections. Adult cruisers will appreciate the number and variety of watering holes that range from Champagne to Playmakers Bar and Arcade.
In an effort to appeal to the modern cruiser's shifting priorities, Independence of the Seas majorly expanded the drinking and dining choices aboard ship when it got the Royal Amplified treatment. While you'll still have formal options like the always-popular five-course dinner and wine pairing at Chef's Table, the ship's newest additions are intentionally unfussy. Giovanni's Italian Kitchen offers hand-tossed pizzas, Instagrammable charcuterie platters, and a great selection of Italian wines in a casually elegant setting. The laidback fun continues at Playmakers Bar & Arcade, where you can grab a brew and watch the game on one of over 30 TVs. Fish & Chips is yet another new addition to the ship's dining portfolio. Located on Deck 11, it's meant to call to mind Britain's casual seaside eateries with its fried seafood offerings. All guests will, of course, also have access to Royal Caribbean's signature buffet at Windjammer as well as Sorrento's Pizza, and Café Promenade.
SkyPad isn't the only wildly unique entertainment that has been Amplified on Independence of the Seas. You'll want to be sure to check out the Observatorium, Royal Caribbean's Escape Room, where you and your team will have 60 minutes to puzzle out how to help bring a time-traveling professor back to the present day. You can continue your heroics in the inflatable Laser Tag Arena when you play the glow-in-the-dark game called Battle for Planet Z. Then, of course, there are the waterslides. Typhoon and Cyclone are twin racing slides that twist and turn from a jaw-dropping height. At night, the entertainment options amp up even further. The Alhambra Theatre spans two decks and is a beautiful venue in which to enjoy Broadway-quality productions of shows like Grease, Mamma Mia!, and CATS. You'll also find DJs and live music performances at various venues throughout the ship.
Guests will have no problem maintaining their active lifestyles aboard Indy thanks to the Vitality at Sea Fitness Center, the Sports Court, the rock-climbing wall, and more. The fitness center, which was upgraded during the Royal Amplified transformation, offers all of the cardio and strength training equipment that you'd expect to find at any gym on land. There is also a spacious group fitness studio, which offers spinning, yoga, Pilates, and more inventive classes like "Combat in Motion" that combines martial arts with aerobic conditioning. If you prefer to get your calorie burn outside of the gym, you can get moving on the ice skating rink or the FlowRider surf simulator.
The spa on Independence of the Seas is the perfect place to enjoy some solo pampering or reconnect with your significant other during a couple's treatment. The menu of services features everything you'd expect to find at an upscale spa. Whether you opt for a hot stone massage, a salt scrub, or the signature Elemis Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial, you're sure to leave with a new glow. If you want something a bit more transformative, the med-spa offers advanced anti-aging techniques and injectables like Botox and Restalyne. Teens will love the YSpa menu, which includes services like the Acne Attack facial and Surfer Scrub, which are designed with their needs in mind.
Bulk sweets shop Candy Beach is the most original addition to the shops on the Royal Promenade, which remains the central hub of Independence of the Seas. Similar to what you'd find in an upscale mall, the shopping area also features boutiques selling designer handbags, luxury watches, and high-end beauty products. If you want a Royal Caribbean-branded tote bag or need to pick up some personal items, you'll find those shops along the Royal Promenade as well. Thanks to the central location of the shopping area, you have plenty of options if you want to grab a cocktail or quick bite between stores. The Ale & Anchor Pub and Sorrento's are just two of the most convenient places to take a break from shopping. While you're at sea, everything you buy is tax and duty-free, so you can shop 'til your heart's content without regret.
Adventure Ocean, Royal Caribbean's highly awarded children's program, also received a makeover during the 2018 refurbishment. This incredibly popular program is a great way for kids to meet other cruisers their age while participating in organized activities like science experiments, arts and crafts, and sports tournaments. The ship also features whimsical playrooms with toys and games appropriate for different age groups where kids can engage in unstructured, supervised play. Teens can dance all day at Fuel, the teen-only disco. The Adventure Ocean program allows parents to drop off potty-trained kids as young as three for age-specific programming so that they can hit the casino, read a book by the pool, or even make a shore excursion. Other new kid-friendly spaces include Splashaway Bay, which offers interactive water features for kiddos who aren't quite ready for Typhoon and Cyclone.
There's nothing like the sound of cards being shuffled, chips being stacked, and slot machines paying off. Located on Deck 4 between Schooner Bar and Playmakers, Royal Caribbean's signature Casino Royale offers a variety of games of chance and skill. The casino has over 300 slots with bets as low as one cent and as high as $25. You'll also find plenty of table games, including poker, craps, blackjack, and roulette. There are onboard lessons for novice players and tournaments for more experienced gamblers. The casino is open to anyone who is at least 18 as long as the ship is at sea.