Review of Independence Of The Seas deck 11 (Lido-Pools-Cabins)
Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center is a 2-level wellness complex. On this level is the Fitness (ShipShape Center, open between 6 am - 10 pm) consisting of a large Gymnasium (complimentary), Aerobics Room (for classes- Yoga, Pilates, spinning, stretching), Boxing Ring (individual and group lessons), separate lockers (for men/women). A spiral staircase leads to the upper level (ShipShape Spa). The Gym room (with floor-ceiling windows) has modern bodybuilding and training exercise equipment (free weights, weight machines, treadmills, steppers, ellipticals, stationary bikes). In the mornings/afternoons are scheduled health and wellness seminars (free of charge).
Solarium is the ship’s adults-only relaxation complex with its own swimming pool (depth 5 ft / 1,5 m, with fountain and cascading waterfalls), 2 cantilevered whirlpools (with glass panels / infinity pool design, extending 12 ft / 3,6 m beyond the ship’s sides), sunbathing area surrounding the pool (loungers, deckchairs, chaise pads, hammocks), shaded areas, palm trees, full-service Solarium Bar (drinks and light-fare food). There is a 24-hour beverage station for complimentary drinks (coffee- regular & decaf, tea, iced tea, flavored waters).
The main pool deck area has 2 swimming pools – Main Pool (with 3 whirlpools) and Sports Pool (starboard, reserved for water sports), stage (for live band performances), expansive sunbathing area with loungers. Daily fun activities include live music, pool games, fun contests. The pool area is served with drinks and refreshments by the Pool Bar (outdoor poolside bar, 10 seats) and the Sky Bar (on deck 12).
Outdoor Movie Screen (called Jumbotron) is a poolside cinema (complimentary) located near the main pool area. It is used daily for showing funny videos and live sporting events, and for watching new movies nightly.
H2O Zone is the kids-dedicated outdoor playground with 1 pool, 2 Whirlpools, 1 splash pool, kids splash zones, sunbathing areas with loungers. During the ship’s next scheduled refurbishment, H2O will be redesigned to become Splashaway Bay (open between 8 am - 8 pm) is the kids-only aqua park. It has 2 whirlpools, 1 splash pool, 1 mini waterslide, interactive splash areas with multiple geysers and water cannons.
"Fish and Ships" is a poolside specialty restaurant/food bar offering a-la-carte priced seafood - including freshly battered cod, calamari, crispy hand-cut fries, cold brews.
Sprinkles (open 11:30 am - 7 pm) is a complimentary poolside ice cream bar.
Sea Trek Dive Shop sells professional water gear (diving and snorkeling equipment) and some souvenirs. At the Dive Shop passengers can sign up for basic scuba diving lessons and get PADI qualifications.
Chops Grille (130 seats) is a premium steakhouse-seafood restaurant open for Dinner-only (between 5:30 – 9:30 pm). This is a specialty restaurant (at US$39 surcharge per person) with an open kitchen allowing guests to watch the food preparation. Reservations are recommended. Included in the surcharge are bread with butter (first-served), 2 appetizers, 1 entree and desserts. At extra charge from the menu can be ordered soups, salads, prime meat (beef, veal, pork, lamb, poultry) and seafood specialties. Among those are New York strip steak (12 oz), filet mignon (6 oz, 9 oz), veal chop parmesan, short ribs, lamb chops, roasted chicken, crusted tuna, snapper Veracruz, grilled branzino, lobster, shrimp, scallops. Steaks are served with a choice of 3 sauces (bearnaise, peppercorn, bordelaise). Among the upsell dishes are dry-aged steaks (16 oz), porterhouse (20 oz), Maine Lobster. Chops Grille menu also has sides/sharables (mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, truffled creamed corn, roasted mushrooms, grilled vegetables) and desserts (chocolate pie, chocolate lava cake, red velvet cake, cheesecake, warm cookie plate, ice cream, specialty coffees).
Giovanni’s Table (fka Portofino, capacity 79 seats, menu) is the RCI’s signature Italian specialty restaurant (family-style trattoria) at surcharge per person (US$15 lunch, US$25 dinner). Giovanni’s restaurant is open for Lunch (12-1:30 pm /seadays only) and Dinner (between 6-9.30 pm). Reservations are recommended. Among the traditional Italian dishes served here are focaccia (oven-baked bread), ciabatta, antipasti, salads (Caprese, Caesar), fresh-made pesto sauce, seafood stew, lasagna, meatballs, eggplant parmigiana, pasta (pappardelle, gnocchi, risotto, crab ravioli), veal osso buco, beef tenderloin steak, torta (chocolate cake), chocolate-fillet-cannoli, bomboloni (doughnuts), tiramisu. Giovanni restaurant’s decor features floor-ceiling windows, wrought iron-wood tables, hanging steel lamps, open kitchen (large area allowing guests to watch their food being prepared).
Plaza Bar (capacity 50 seats, opens at 7 am) is a complimentary beverage bar located in the buffet area.
Windjammer Cafe is the lido buffet restaurant (capacity 774 seats). Dining here is casual (as dress code), complimentary and self-service type. The operational hours are as follows: Early Breakfast (at 6:30 am), Breakfast (7-11 am), Lunch (11.30 am - 3 pm), Afternoon Tea/Snacks (4-5 pm) and Dinner (6-9 pm). The Windjammer restaurant has various buffet stations, including for salads, soups, entrees, grill (incl BBQ meats and cooked-to-order steaks), chicken, fish (incl sushi), vegetarian dishes, fast-food (pizza, pasta, hot-dogs, burgers, french fries), cooked vegetables, sauces and toppings, breads, fruits, desserts (incl healthy desserts). On themed evenings are offered Mexican, Indian, Asian and other international cuisine specialties. At Breakfast, there is an egg station (made-to-order omelets and eggs). At Lunch, there is also a carving station. The lido buffet also has 24-hour operational beverage stations with complimentary drinks (milk, coffee, tea, instant hot chocolate, flavored waters, also juices at breakfast). Windjammer’s complimentary “sushi stations” open for dinner-only (at 6:30 pm). Designated chefs continuously prepare fresh sushi (cooked rolls variations, mostly of eel and tuna). There are no nigirizushi or sashimi (with raw meat) or made-to-order items.
(drydock 2018 refurbishment "Royal Amplified") On Deck 11 (forward-starboard) were added all 6 Spa Staterooms (1100-1106, categories 4V-Inside, Oceanview-1L and J3-Junior Suites), taking some space from the Vitality Center.
The H2O Zone (kids aqua park / outdoor playground) was replaced with Splashaway Bay - an interactive water park with waterslides (Cyclone, Typhoon, Boomerango), water cannons, geysers, splash pools, a drench bucket.
"Squeeze Bar" (fresh-made juices, frozens, smoothies, shakes) was replaced with "Fish and Ships", and the
"Seatrek Dive Shop" was renamed "PADI".