The Independence of the Seas is a Freedom-class vessel of the Royal Caribbean International fleet. The $590m ship is a sister to the Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas. It was officially named at a ceremony in Southampton on 26 April 2008.

The ship was based at Southampton, UK, for its first spell of cruises to the Mediterranean and Adriatic. Its maiden cruise was a four-night offering to Cork on 2 May 2008 followed by an 11-night cruise to the Canary Islands on 6 May 2008. Independence of the Seas will depart Southampton in November 2012 to sail on Caribbean cruises from December 2012 to March 2013.

Technical data

The Independence of the Seas was constructed at the Aker Finnyards drydock in Turku, Finland. The 160,000GT ship has 18 decks and can carry a maximum of 4,370 passengers and 1,370 crew.

The ship is 339m long with a draft of 8.53m. The cruising speed is 21.6kt. The ship’s propulsion and power comes from six Wartsila 46 V12 diesels rated at 12.6MW each, driving electric generators at 514 rpm.

"The $590m ship is one of the largest cruise ships ever built."

Propulsion is by three ABB Azipod podded electric propulsion units, two of them azimuthing and the central one being fixed. There are also eight bow thrusters four on the port side and four on the starboard side. There are also 30 lifeboats.

Staterooms

All of the staterooms on the Independence have private bathrooms, multiple configuration queen- and king-size beds (converting to twin beds and also sofa beds), an LCD HD flat-screen television, Egyptian bedsheets, and an internal telephone for shipboard use (Wi-Fi is available throughout the ship for extra cost).

The staterooms are available in various permutations, ranging from the 152ft² Interior Stateroom to the 1,406ft² Royal Suite. These include:

The Promenade Stateroom (167ft²); Promenade Family Stateroom (300ft²); Ocean View Stateroom (family to large); Superior Ocean View (189ft²); Deluxe Ocean View (177ft²) ); Presidential Family Suite, with four bedrooms and two bathrooms, (1,215 ft²); Owners Suite (614ft²); Royal Family Suite (588ft²); Grand Suite (387ft²); and Junior Suite (317ft²).

Amenities

The Independence of the Seas features a host of amenities such as an interactive water park (including the FlowRider onboard wave generator); a dedicated sports area with a volleyball and basketball court; and a sports pool.

"The ship can carry a maximum of 4,370 passengers."

The ship also features a Seattle’s Best; a bookstore; Sorrento’s Pizzeria; a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream shop; a Johnny Rockets 50’s-style diner; Portofino Italian Restaurant; Chops Grille; the Royal Promenade retail area; and Adventure Ocean youth facilities.

Other amenities include a rock climbing wall; ice skating rink; CasinoRoyale; H20 Zone, Day spa; fitness centre and gymnasium; a full-size Everlast boxing ring, and a nine-hole miniature golf course. The Independence of the Seas also has the first heated freshwater pools in the fleet.