Royal Caribbean International’s Independence of the Seas reentered service this week, arriving in Southampton with a number of new features after a multi-million-dollar makeover. It officially welcomed its first new guests post-refurb on Tuesday, May 15.
Independence will now sail roundtrip itineraries from Southampton, carrying 3,858 guests in 1,929 staterooms across 15 decks.
The ship, which Royal Caribbean is calling “the ultimate family ship,” boasts a number of new features, including kid-friendly options like The Perfect Storm, a pair of racing waterslides; glow-in-the-dark laser tag in Studio B; and a new escape room experience called Puzzle Break.
New food options include the Sugar Beach candy shop; Fish & Ships, a poolside restaurant with “quintessentially British seaside treats”; Izumi Hibachi & Sushi, which serves fresh sushi and meals cooked tableside on teppanyaki grills; and Playmaker Sports Bar & Arcade, a Royal Caribbean staple that serves craft beer on tap along with bar food like Buffalo wings and burgers.
“From our largest-yet hibachi restaurant to a virtual reality bungee trampoline experience, Independence of the Seas is set to be the most spectacular ship sailing out of Southampton this coming season,” said Ben Bouldin, managing director of UK and Ireland for Royal Caribbean.