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    Independence of the Seas to undergo $7 million refurbishment

    Royal Caribbean International says it continues to bring the cruise line’s most innovative features and popular venues, first introduced on Oasis-class ships, to its fleet with the recently announced revitalisation of Independence of the Seas scheduled to take place in April 2013.

    "A new baby and toddler nursery, an enhanced digital way finding system and a giant outdoor cinema screen are just a few of the new features awaiting guests on Independence of the Seas when it emerges in May as part of the cruise line’s extensive revitalisation programme. For guests with a sweet tooth, the refreshed ship will also see the introduction of The Cupcake Cupboard. Featuring freshly-baked gourmet cupcakes and bespoke culinary parties and design classes, the new addition will be a hit with foodies. The ship also will enjoy the addition of Giovanni’s Table, an Italian trattoria featuring Italian classics served family-style," the company said in a statement

    Based in Southampton since 2008 and one of the most popular ships amongst UK holidaymakers, the 3,634-guest Independence of the Seas is just one of many ships in the Royal Caribbean International fleet that is receiving a major upgrade as part of a $300 million investment programme. Beginning in May 2011 with the revitalisation ofRadiance of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International’s revitalisation programme is being undertaken with an aim to bring features from the redefining Oasis-class ships to the remainder of the fleet. In 2012 five ships underwent a complete transformation including Rhapsody of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Grandeur of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas

    Following a two-week long, US $7 million refurbishment, Independence of the Seas will arrive in Southampton on 2 May 2013 to begin its summer season, offering a series of new itineraries including more shorter sailings such as two-night cruises to Le Havre for Paris and three night cruises to Le Havre for Paris and Zeebrugge for Bruges.Independence of the Seas will also offer eight night cruises to Norway, 14-night Norway and Cork cruises, various 14-night Mediterranean cruises, and 12-night Canary Islands cruises as part of its 2013 season. Independence of the Seas will also include a new call to Ibiza on a 14-night Spanish Mediterranean cruise.

    Prices for a two night taster cruise to Le Havre for Paris on-board Independence of the Seas departing Southampton cost £249 per person for accommodation with its own private balcony based on 2 May 2013 departure. A six-night Norway cruise from Southampton featuring ports of call in Oslo, Kristiansand and Stavanger costs from £599 per person based on two sharing an inside stateroom and departing on 26 May 2013.

    By Kari Reinikainen, Cruise Business Review

    Posted on CruiseCrazies.com:

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    RCI does a great job of revitalizing their ships and keeping them current. Not only is Independence getting a makeover, but other RCI ships are getting some or all of the new features, including Brilliance, which I am sailing on in October. Very exciting, indeed!

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