If you’re planning a cruise on Independence of the Seas then it’s definitely worth spending an extra five minutes to make sure that you get an awesome room!
Independence of the Seas is one of Royal Caribbean’s most-loved ships. However, this Freedom-class ship was built in 2008 and cruise ships have certainly evolved since then.
Independence of the Seas has some design quirks which means that there are some cabins that you may wish to avoid when cruising on this ship. There are also some hidden gems!
In this guide to choosing a stateroom on Independence of the Seas, I’ll give you all the information about the different accommodation types on this ship, and show you some of the best and worst cabins to choose for your cruise.
How to choose the best cruise cabin
I’ve made a free checklist of everything you should look out for when choosing a cruise cabin. If you’d like a copy, just leave your details and I’ll send it over to you right this moment.
The different rooms on Independence of the Seas
Independence of the Seas has 1,929 cabins. Around half of the rooms on this ship have balconies and around half of all the rooms can accommodate families of three to six.
Independence of the Seas has more than 20 different cabin types to choose from. These can be categorised into; inside cabins, outside cabins, balcony rooms and suites.
This table shows all the room types on Independence of the Seas:
|Room||Type||Max. guests||Decks||Average Size (sq ft)||Average Balcony Size (sq ft)|
|Interior||Inside||4||2, 3, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12||160||n/a|
|Interior Accessible||Inside||4||2, 9, 10||256||n/a|
|Promenade View Interior||Inside||2||6, 7, 8||169||n/a|
|Connecting Promenade Interior||Inside||2||6, 7, 8||169||n/a|
|Promenade View Interior Accessible||Inside||2||6, 8||266||n/a|
|Spacious Promenade View interior||Inside||6||7, 8||340||n/a|
|Ocean View||Outside||4||2, 3, 6, 9||180||n/a|
|Ocean View Accessible||Outside||2||2||315||n/a|
|Spacious Ocean View||Outside||4||6, 8, 9, 10||211||n/a|
|Ultra Spacious Ocean View||Outside||6||2, 6, 8, 9||351||n/a|
|Spacious Panoramic Ocean View||Outside||4||11, 12||175||n/a|
|Spacious Panoramic Ocean View Accessible||Outside||4||12||283||n/a|
|Ocean View Balcony||Balcony||4||6, 7, 8, 9, 10||199||53|
|Connecting Oceanview Balcony||Balcony||2||6, 7, 8, 10||199||53|
|Ocean View Balcony Accessible||Balcony||2||6, 7||286||53|
|Spacious Ocean View Balcony||Balcony||4||6, 7, 8, 9, 10||214||42|
|Junior Suite||Suite||4||7, 9, 11||317||65|
|Junior Suite – Accessible||Suite||6||10||408||65|
|Ocean View Panoramic Suite (No Balcony)||Suite||6||12||406||n/a|
|Grand Suite – 1 Bedroom||Suite||4||10||432||89|
|Grand Suite – 2 Bedroom||Suite||8||6, 8, 9||616||208|
|Owner’s Suite – 1 Bedroom||Suite||5||10||596||204|
|Royal Suite – 1 Bedroom||Suite||4||10||1633||249|
Independence of the Seas room sizes
The sizes shown in the table above are averages for staterooms in each category. Some staterooms are much bigger than others. If you can get hold of one of these, you’ll get a much bigger room for the same price!
The Independence of the Seas deck plan (click here to open it in a new window) shows every room on this ship and is drawn to scale. Studying the deck plan is the best way to spot any cabins that are larger than others in the same category and get more space for your money.
Independence of the Seas cabins to avoid
There are some cabins that you’ll certainly wish to avoid on this ship. These may be noisy, in less-desirable locations or may have quirks that will annoy you during your cruise.
1. Noisy cabins on Independence of the Seas
Cabins towards the aft of Deck 2: These cabins are above the engine room so there’s a chance that you will be disturbed by engine noise and vibrations. Some of these cabins are also below the dining room so you may be able to hear chairs being moved around or the staff vacuuming the carpet above your head while you’re in bed.
Most cabins on Deck 3: If you like to go to sleep early, you should steer clear of most of the cabins on Deck 3 of Independence of the Seas. The deck above Deck 3 has the Royal Promenade where you’ll find the theatre, casino, Schooner Bar, Playmakers sports bar, Boleros nightclub and the Main Dining Room. With so much going on up on Deck 4, there’s a good chance that you’ll hear some of it late into the evening from your cabin on Deck 3.
Deck 6 cabins above the Star Lounge: The Star Lounge is a live music venue on Deck 5 of Independence of the Seas. You should avoid staying in the cabins directly above it if you like silence while you sleep.
Cabins towards the aft of Deck 6: These cabins are located above the Main Dining Room. While diners have usually left the restaurant by 10.30 pm at the latest, you may hear some noise from vacuum cleaners as the dining room is cleaned afterwards.
Most cabins on Deck 10: If you like to sleep in late, you should avoid most cabins on Deck 10. One deck above, on Deck 11, is where you’ll find the gym, the pools and the Windjammer Cafe. Early morning noise might come from weights being dropped in the gym, deckchairs being moved outside or people getting breakfast. Either way, this is not the best deck for a lie-in.
Interior and Ocean View cabins on Deck 11: These cabins share a wall with the fitness centre, so you may hear some noise in this location.
Interconnecting rooms: You should only book an interconnecting room if you need two cabins with a door between them. Doors between cruise cabins are never as soundproof as walls and if you have strangers behind the door you may be able to hear them chatting, or worse!
2. The worst cabins for seasickness
All cabins on Decks 11 & 12: These are the highest cabins and they’re all towards the front of the ship, where you’ll feel the movement most. If you’re worried about nausea, avoid this area.
Aft cabins on Deck 10: Still quite high up, if you choose a cabin right at the back of the ship you’ll feel some movement in rough seas.
3. Cabins with tiny portholes
Certain cabins on Deck 2: Most Ocean View cabins on Independence of the Seas have a decent-sized round window. However, six cabins on this deck have just a tiny porthole instead, for the same price.
This photo, taken by a cruiser on Independence of the Seas, shows one of the small windows compared to the standard size…
Below, you can see how the small porthole is so much smaller than the large window of the cabin next door.
The cabin with the small window is 2296. On the opposite side of the ship is 2596 which will most likely have a small window too. However, the numbers of cabins with smaller windows aren’t published anywhere. To be sure, you may wish to avoid Deck 2 if you’d be disappointed with the size of the window.
4. Cabins with less privacy
Promenade View cabins on Deck 6: Promenade View cabins on Decks 6, 7 and 8 and look down over the Royal Promenade on Deck 5. But, just as you can look out, people can also look in. The net curtains are a little flimsy, so if you want a Promenade View cabin, you may be best to go for a higher deck, as the ones on Deck 6 offer the least privacy.
This video shows what you can expect from a Promenade View Interior Room on Deck 6 of Independence of the Seas…
5. Cabins with obstructed views
Aft-facing cabins on Decks 6, 7 & 8: Freedom Class and Voyager Class ships have what I would consider to be a poor design at the aft because most of the views are obstructed. There is a metal structure between the edge of the balcony and the ocean which blocks some of the view, particularly when looking down.
This video shows the view from an aft balcony cabin on Deck 7 of Freedom of the Seas, which is virtually identical to Independence of the Seas…
6. Cabins in an awkward location
All cabins on Deck 3: Independence of the Seas has elevators located towards the front and aft of the ship. On most decks, you can use either elevator. However, on deck 3, you cannot walk through the mid-section of the ship as it is blocked by Studio B and the ice rink. If your cabin is on Deck 3, you must always use the correct elevator (front or aft) to reach your room, which can be annoying.
Best rooms on Independence of the Seas
Now it’s time to take a look at the best cabins on the ship. Look out for these gems when you book your cruise…
1. Balcony cabin connected to an inside cabin
Towards the aft of Deck 9 on Independence of the Seas, there are balcony cabins that are connected to inside cabins. These cabins are extremely rare, but a great find for families who like to have two connecting cabins. Families love these cabins because the adults can enjoy the balcony, while the kids have the cheaper (and safer) inside room.
The overall cost of the two cabins is less than a suite, but you get more space and the bonus of having two bathrooms!
2. Newer staterooms
In 2018, Independence of the Seas underwent a huge refit which saw the addition of 107 new staterooms. These newer rooms are essentially 10 years younger than the rest of the ship, with more modern features.
These are the newer staterooms on Independence of the Seas:
- Inside cabins 3241 to 3259, 3305 to 3329 and 3541 to 3557
- Inside cabins 6137 and 6443 to 6449
- 2 Bedroom Grand Suites on Deck 6
- Inside cabins 7139 and 7441 to 7447
- Inside cabins 8127 to 8135, 8237 and 8441 to 8445
- Inside cabin 9237
- Inside cabins 1343 to 1349
- All cabins on Deck 11 – 2 inside cabins, 1 outside cabin and 3 Junior Suites
- All cabins on Deck 12 – 4 inside cabins, 38 Spacious Panoramic Ocean View cabins and 2 Ocean View Panoramic Suites
If you like fresh, modern decor, then these cabins are the ones to go for.
The photos below are both Junior Suite bathrooms on Independence of the Seas. The first photo shows what most bathrooms look like, whereas the second one shows the newer, more modern design.
Suggested read: Royal Caribbean Junior Suite perks: Is it worth the upgrade?
3. Cabins with the best views
Ocean View cabins and suites on Deck 12: These cabins are high up towards the front of Deck 12 and have floor-to-ceiling windows.
Cabins in this area of the ship come in various shapes and sizes, but all the same price. Look out for 1864 which is the same size as the accessible version, even though it’s not marked as accessible.
This video shows cabin 1864 on Adventure of the Seas which is identical to 1864 on Independence of the Seas…
1802 and 1852 are also much larger than average, and forward-facing for the best views.
Aft-facing cabins on Deck 10: If you love an aft view, then Deck 10 is your best choice. These cabins don’t have the obstruction to your view as the ones on lower decks do. Plus, they’re much larger than average.
What is the best deck on Independence of the Seas?
The best decks on Independence of the seas are Deck 7, Deck 8 and Deck 9. These decks are the quietest and also the most convenient, being in the centre of the ship.
The worst decks on Independence of the Seas are Deck 3, Deck 6 and Deck 10 as these have the most problems with noise. If you get seasick, you should also avoid Deck 11 and Deck 12.
What is the best room on Independence of the Seas?
If you have the budget for it, the best room on Independence of the Seas is the Royal Suite. It has a grand entrance with a doorbell, a separate bedroom with a king-sized bed and a private hot tub on the balcony.
Here are some photos of the Royal Suite on Independence of the Seas…
Of course, the best room for one person is not necessarily the best for someone else. It all depends on what your priorities are.
Regular Royal Caribbean cruiser, Carole Commander, has cruised on Independence of the Seas 18 times. I asked what her favourite cabin was on the ship and she commented:
“My favourite cabins are the promenade view interiors, which are good size cabins and are so convenient. My favourite is 6597, which we’ve been in so many times. They are not much dearer than the interior cabins but are much larger. We didn’t find these cabins to be too noisy unless it was a 70’s night on the promenade or something similar and you could watch it from your window if you wanted to get a good view… Amazing!”
Choose your own room or go for the ‘guarantee’ option?
Royal Caribbean usually gives guests the option to choose their exact stateroom number, for an extra fee. You may see two prices, which looks like this on the Royal Caribbean website.
If you opt not to choose your room number, you can still choose the cabin type e.g. inside, outside, balcony or suite, but your room number will be assigned to you.
This is known as a ‘guarantee cabin’, as you’re guaranteed a cabin in the same category as you’ve chosen.
Benefits of choosing your cabin number:
- Choose your preferred location on the ship
- Book two cabins next to each other
- Avoid undesirable cabins
If you’re not bothered about which cabin you get, then letting Royal Caribbean choose for you can be a good way to save money. However, if you want a particular cabin such as one of the Panoramic Ocean View cabins, then you’ll need to pay to select that.
Booking multiple cabins on Independence of the seas
If you want adjoining cabins which have a door between them, you’ll have to choose your own room numbers.
If you just want cabins next door to each other, you can let Royal Caribbean choose your rooms and request that your cabins are nearby. Whilst most requests are met, there’s no guarantee that they will be.
If you have adjacent balcony cabins on Independence of the Seas, you can ask your stateroom attendant to open the balcony dividers to create one large balcony.
Find more information about Independence of the Seas cabins
If you have any questions about cabins on Independence of the Seas then you’ll find lots of helpful cruisers in Facebook groups. Take a look at:
- Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Cabins Facebook group
- Royal Caribbean International, Cabins and Suites Facebook group
- Independence of the Seas Facebook group
You might also want to take a look at some of my other articles about cruising with Royal Caribbean…