We recently had the opportunity to catch up with a teenager following two cruises aboard Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas and Princess Cruises’ Royal Princess, here’s Katie’s thoughts from her time on board:
After spending two weeks on both Royal Princess and Independence of the Seas I have decided to write this blog comparing the two from a young person’s perspective. Both ships had a teen zone where I spent my nights communicating with other teenagers like myself; Independence of the Seas had a zone much like a living room where all the teenagers formed friendship groups and used the zone as a meeting area. Royal Princess had lots more organised activities taking place in the zone that the teens would participate in. This included hot tub parties and discos at night. Independence of the Seas also had activities to take part in. However we found ourselves too busy using all of the other facilities on the ship.
The dining situation for a teenager on board a cruise ship is always excellent – you are never short of food! Both Independence and Royal Princess had pizza restaurants; this is where my new friends and I spent most of our time. What could be better than a never ending supply of pizza? Other than pizza, there were a number of places to eat on both ships; as a teenager on board the chance of spending a meal with your parents is low because you spend so much time running around the ship with your new friends. Royal Princess had a 24 hour café where us teens would sit and eat until the early morning enjoying pastry’s and sandwiches. Independence of the Seas had a curfew of 2 o’clock that we all eagerly ignored, avoiding the deck patrol and feasting on the free ice cream.
For all of the older teenagers the fact is that drinking and partying on the ships is very strict and won’t happen if you are underage. Both Independence and Royal Princess have awesome night clubs that you can go in if you are over 18 and for Independence you have to be 21 to drink. The good news is however you will have so much to do you won’t even feel like you are missing out.
You don’t have to just take part in the kids’ activities – there are other things that you can do such as the spas and gyms that are excellent on both ships. The gym was much bigger on Independence and had more facilities including a boxing ring, Royal Princess’ gym was a really good size and they had lots of group classes that the teenagers got involved in. Both are really good for fitness fanatics and were never really busy. The spas on the ships were both extremely good; Independence of the seas’ spa was much more adult orientated and relaxing but was still teenager friendly. Royal Princess had a bigger hair and nail salon that was the perfect place for teenage girls to spend an evening getting pampered; the spa itself was much smaller and slightly more basic however the treatments were just as good.
Overall I enjoyed both ships equally, Royal Princess was more laid back and I spent a lot of time socializing meeting new people and enjoying the pizza. Independence of the Seas was much more action based, I spent all my time going from one activity to another with all of the other teenagers.