Goodbye Independence of the Seas

Independence of the Seas leaving the UK Body Positive Travel Blogger

Dear Owlets,

If you’re at all interested in cruising from the UK you’ll probably have already heard by now that Royal Caribbean basically blew up the UK cruise industry by deciding to cancel 2020 sailings and take one of their most beloved ships back to the USA full time. I know she’ll still be sailing, but it’s unlikely I’m going to sail on her again, so now seemed like a good time to say my goodbyes.

Two years ago, Independence of The Seas changed my life - she was the original holiday of a lifetime and appeared just when I needed her the most (with a little encouragement from my parents). I met the kindest people who inspired me to be the best me. I came home, took a step back from my life and set about ditching anything that didn’t make me happy. At 21 years old I basically clicked “send to trash” on my life and started again, and it was so worth it. 

Independence of the Seas is one of the most beautiful ships I’ve ever had the good fortune to sail on. When you walk on board you’re shocked by the ornate surroundings as you’re bathed in a warm glow from the copious amounts of gold. I spent my first cruise on board her in a state of total awe - I’m so glad I filmed because the entire trip is a blur in my memory. All I remember is feeling happiness like I’d never felt before. 

Independence of the Seas leaving the UK Body Positive Travel Blogger

It turns out fairytales end when they do for a reason, and it’s true that the sequel is never as good as the original.

In 2018 I stepped back on board “my floating home”, having spent months practically giddy over the thought of every second that I would spend on this beautiful ship. Unfortunately what was to follow was not quite the way I’d dreamed it to be. In fact, until that trip I didn’t realise there was such a thing as a “bad cruise”. I spent two weeks with that familiar knot in my stomach, trying desperately to make the most of this trip that I’d worked so hard to get back to, when in reality I felt like crying because I was so disappointed.

I feel like in some way I will have “angered the internet” by not mentioning this until now. Daily I still have people messaging me as a result of my Holiday of a Lifetime post, wanting to talk about how they too could have this magical trip, but being disappointed when I suggest a different cruise line. I always promised to be honest with you and I am, but when this ship that I’d spent so long professing my love for didn’t love me back I didn’t quite have the heart to do a complete 180 and tell you how upset it had made me. 

Independence of the Seas leaving the UK Body Positive Travel Blogger

So now Indy is leaving us, among dropping share prices, loss of market share, increased cruise fares and a lot of unhappy people who looked forward to their own holiday of a lifetime. While I don’t want to go into detail of what happened, I will say this.

Indy, despite what happened, is one of the most special ships at sea because she was my first. She’s full of crew that I know so well I consider family at sea, and because of her I have friends across the globe. Saying goodbye to her is bittersweet - part of me wishes I’d given her another chance but once the magic is lost it’s hard to get it back.

Independence of the Seas leaving the UK Body Positive Travel Blogger

I’ll always be grateful for what this incredible ship did to my life, regardless of how things ended. Wherever she goes next I know she’s going to make a lot of people happy - indirectly that includes me. I may not be the devoted fan I once was, but she changed my life, taught me to give new experiences a chance and that doing things that scare me usually are usually worth the outcome.

Goodbye Indy - I know it’s not quite the sugar-sweet goodbye I wished I could say, but nothing is ever perfect. You changed my life and I’m sure you’ll continue to do that to whoever is lucky enough to greet you next.

Love and Feathers, 
 The Owlet 💜 
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