Independence OTS Cruise – Southampton to Lisbon

It had been almost 4 ½ years since I last set foot on Independence of the Seas. 2nd May 2008 for the maiden voyage and now I was finally going back on a longer cruise. Shorts are an ideal way to try a ship (and I’ve done my fair share!) but you get a proper experience on something longer. The weather on the 31st October 2012 was the opposite of then – raining! Due to norovirus on the previous cruise, boarding was delayed while they had a deep clean meaning the queue was outside the terminal.

I was sooooooo glad of priority boarding. Although my status was still listed as Platinum, I had, in fact, become Diamond after completing another Celebrity Constellation cruise 6 days before. That wasn’t important for checking in because Platinum and above jumped the queue. So the process from back of the queue to being on the ship took just over 20 minutes. They checked your SeaPass cards as you went onto the escalator to make sure you could before the hoi polloi. We had a choice of lunch in the Windjammer or Romeo and Juliet on deck 3. I did the latter and it was a buffet.

The cabins weren’t ready until 2.30pm, which is late indeed. I found the voucher booklet for my upgraded Crown & Anchor Diamond status in the room – woo! Thank you Lesley at the UK office and Karla Forbes onboard!




Diamond welcome back freebies


Then I went for a wander on the windy deck. Oceana was also with us.



Muster was at 4pm and I stayed on the Prom deck for our wet sailaway. We would be hitting some bad weather – double woo!!! Oceana was also with us but left some time after we had passed.



They shut us in before we’d reached the Solent! I got my SeaPass changed to Diamond after seeing Karla. Shopping, dinner, bed.

The Bay of Evil and boy was Indy magnificent! It didn’t bother her at all. Yes we pitched and rolled (I remember Navigator being really bad in the Force 6 in the Celtic Sea to Cobh) but Indy was incredibly stable despite the speed she was going. I didn’t need any painkillers for my back. Indy would be a scream going across the Atlantic!


See the flag still flying




I returned to the cabin and found some more Diamond goodies!!!


The show after dinner was Graffiti Strings who were very funny indeed.

Land! Vigo was ugh weather. We were staying on ship’s time rather than change to CET, GMT, CET, GMT which made sense since most of the ports on this cruise are GMT. I only got off for dock pics and since Indy had gone straight in I could get her bow – yes!!!! Why couldn’t Connie have done that 12 days earlier????



We had a rainbow for a few minutes in the afternoon which faded, returned, faded.

We left the dock a bit early and after turning went into a squall. I found the Diamond Lounge so went in there after sailaway for a while.




The theatre show, Invitation to Dance, I felt was a bit naff. It seemed to be pretty much the same thing, especially by the two professionals. I was waiting for all these different types they said it would be about. C&A party then dinner.

Captain Remo


I decided not to go to the 70s party in the Royal Promenade because I had an early start.

Lisbon! We blasted three times as we went under the bridge but just before, it stated to rain – boo! It became so heavy the bridge almost disappeared but I was having breakfast by then.




I was on a boat tour so hoped it would be dry – which it was for most of it. Columbus 2 (which is on charter to Hapag-Lloyd) was in too. Before we turned to go back the heavens opened. We then did a panoramic tour before returning to the ship by about 12.30pm, by which time it was sunnier.


Indy in dry Lisbon


Indy in wet Lisbon







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