Independence of the Seas



Year built: 2008

Speed: 23 kn

Passengers: 4,370

Crew: 1,360

154k tons

18 decks


The Independence of the Seas currently sails 14 night cruises to the Mediterranean from Southampton. She also sails 4 and 5 night Western Caribbean cruises, from Fort Lauderdale.


On March 28, 2016, while the Independence was en-route to Belize City, a passenger reported to me that someone had come over the PA system and had requested that anyone with O-Blood to report to the infirmary on deck 1. The passenger told me that during dinner, they made an emergency stop in Cozumel, Mexico. Royal Caribbean told passengers that another passenger was badly injured, and had to disembark from the ship. They arrives late to Belize the next morning. Thanks to Adam from on Instagram for this exclusive story. Check out his website here.

On May 22, 2014, the ship was held by Alesund port authorities in Norway. The arrest of the whole vessel was for not paying port fees. The Captain notified the shipowner RCCL, who in less than 1 hour transferred the sum of NOK 600,000 (US$64,000) to cover port charges. After that, the vessel was allowed to proceed with the Norwegian Fjords cruise.

On May 31, 2011, when the ship was docked in Gibraltar UK, a fuel tank on the pier exploded. 12 passengers sustained minor injuries and received treatments on board. The gangway was immediately retracted and the vessel moved away from the area and anchored in the bay. Two passengers were still ashore when the accident happened, but were not injured. Two workers ashore were seriously injured. The probable cause for the explosion was a spark from welding works.

On June 12, 2011, a female passenger suffered from a “critical illness” and had to be medevaced by UKCG assets. A helicopter was sent from Portland, England, 23 miles out to the ship. Since the UKCG helicopter was too heavy to land on the ship’s pad, crew had to lift up the woman in her wheelchair. The ill passenger and her husband were flown to Dorset County Hospital.

On April 2, 2014, two dockworkers died in Zante harbor. Both men were assisting the ship’s un-berthing. At 5:15 PM when they were in a small boat and trying to remove the last mooring line, when the ship swamped their boat with its Azipods, and threw them into water. The boat slammed into the Celebrity Silhouette and overturned. Water currents made by the Independence caused the boat to capsize, sucking the men under water.

On January 14, 2016, while the ship was docked in call port Falmouth, 1 male passenger died and 3 other were seriously injured in a bus cras. The tour bus was on its way back to the ship, returning a total of 21 passengers from a sponsored by Royal Caribbean shore excursion in Jamaica. The 3 injured were hospitalized in Falmouth Public General Hospital. The traffic collision accident occurred in Trelawny Parish and involved 4 vehicles, the tour bus, a freightliner, Toyota Corolla, and a Toyota Hiace. The ship was on a 5-day Western Caribbean itinerary round trip from Fort Lauderdale, also visiting Haiti.

On October 20, 2008, the ship was docked in Gran Canaria when a 7-year-old girl was miraculously saved from near drowning from another passenger. The kid was spotted by another girl lying face down on the bottom of the swimming pool on the Lido deck. A 45-year-old male passenger first arrived at the scene. The kid was not breathing, her lips had turned blue. Then he started CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation for several minutes. The girl was saved, and after having first aid from the ship’s med team, she was transferred to a local hospital.

On March 9, 2009, while the ship was docked in Cozumel, Mexico, a female passenger in motorized wheelchair fell from the pier into the water. When alerted by passengers, a female crew jumped and saved the woman.

On May 28, 2014, a 6-year-old boy suffered a near drowning incident after he slipped and struck his head in the pool. When found lying on the pool’s bottom, his heart was stopped. Other kids pulled the body from the pool. The ship’s doctor restarted his heart, then requested an emergency transportation for advanced medical treatments in France.

On May 9, 2015, the ship returned early to home port of Port Everglades on May 10 due to a medical emergency. A male passenger sustained head injury after falling on the FlowRider.

On September 15, 2015, a baby boy was born on the ship at 3:00 AM. The woman went into labor 15 weeks early. Via the PA system, the Captain informed all passengers that the infant and his mother were doing great. Because of this so unusual event, the ship arrived in the next call port San Juan Puerto Rico 2 hours earlier then scheduled. Curious fact is, that the in the boy’s birth certificate in the field “place of birth” is written “at sea”. This “happy incident” occurred while the ship was operating on a 7-days Eastern Caribbean cruise itinerary round trip from home port of Port Everglades, Florida, with call ports San Juan, Philipsburg, and Basseterre. Similar “baby born at sea” incidents also occurred on the Cunard ship Queen Mary 2 in 2016.

RCI ShipsPJ Morrissey