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Pictured left to right outside the new store are: Paul Hardwick, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents Director of Retail; Emma Bailey, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents; Tutti Taylor, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents; Councillor Candy Vaughan, Mayor of Eastbourne; Trevor Ridler, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents Business Development Manager; and Shirley Waters, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents..

Independence Days

Last April, Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas sailed into dry dock for a multi-million pound refurbishment. Having emerged a month later with brand new facilities and updated décor, Kerry Sabberton (Assistant Manager of our Norwich travel agents in Thorpe) climbed on board to see what’s new.

Destination: Cruise to Nowhere
Royal Caribbean
(Hotel names/Ship name):
Independence of the Seas
Duration: 2 nights


I was lucky enough to have a spacious Ocean View Balcony Cabin right at the front of the ship. It included a slightly larger balcony with a frosted glass half-dome facing forwards,making it feel much light than it would have been with solid walls both sides.

The bed was large and very comfortable and the cabin also had a large sitting area with a sofa, table,dressing table and chairs. The bathroom was a good size and looked very fresh nd new.

The ship itself looked very new and shiny and you could see where they had spent the money on the new floors, bars, seating and soft furnishings. The change of the chapel to an escape room looked very interesting and like it might be something different to try. During the day, they can also change the ice skating ring to an inflatable laser tag maze, complete with florescent lighting, which is great fun.

What Was Included?

All food and drink was included, as was all of the wonderful entertainment around the ship.

Johnny Rockets was very busy and we had to book to be able to get a table. However, the milkshakes make it worthwhile and, somewhat reluctantly, the staff did their famous dance routine.

The Grease show was great and the party night had some 80s pop stars singing from the top of the Royal Promenade, along with some amazing food and lots of balloons and confetti.

Most of the staff onboard were friendly and helpful.

Trip Highlights

Party night was great fun and had an amazing atmosphere. I think I just liked being in the Royal Promenade area!


I would definitely recommend Independence of the Sea to anyone who is travelling with children.There is so much to do and you would never get bored. I think it would also be great for multi-generation families, as there are lots things you can do together regardless of age.

Must see? Grease Show
Must do?
Puzzle Break Center (Escape Room)
Must try? Johnny Rockets

If you would like to book a cruise on board Independence of the Seas or any of the other ships we can offer, speak to the team at your local branch today. We have travel agents in Ipswich, Colchester, Bury St Edmunds, Felixstowe, Norwich and along the south coast.