I had a good week on the Adventure of the Seas, and it was my first cruise. It was an enjoyable novelty but lacked a lot of aspects I've been led to expect from friends who went on other cruises.
The staff were all great. Really friendly and - seemingly at least! - happy working there. Vasco in the fitness centre, our waiter Chris, and Harry from Mauritius were all excellent. And even on such a large ship, staff were remembering your name, which I thought was very impressive. The food in the main dining hall was also fantastic, although I would say the room service was below hotel standard.
About 2/3s of the passengers were Spanish and clearly their culture is a little different, lacking what I would consider pretty basic manners, queuing for escalators, chatting with other guests or calming children down when they were getting too carried away. It was a shame you couldn't sit down in a public place and chat easily with fellow cruisers. Whilst relaxing in a jazz bar on board around midnight, it was surreal that there were still (Spanish) 5-year olds running around, dancing and making noise. I don't mind children, but there's a time and a place; and midnight in a jazz bar is neither. If you like peace away from children, this is not the cruise for you.
I was most disappointed by the constant up-selling and overpricing of RC. Not just the 15% automatic gratuity to all drinks or other extras you pay for, the optional extra tip for drinks etc, then the week-end suggested gratuities; all of which I could stomach. But I felt it crossed a line with the Spa also ripping me for products curiously called "services" which I didn't agree to, and breaking the rapport with the masseur by telling me I really needed a $60 bottle of shower gel, OK? The otherwise excellent gym also spent an hour trying to convince me to spend $300 on detox pills which I couldn't afford. The behind the scenes tour of the boat looked interesting, but for $150 each? And the Malaga airport transfer for $27 each on a bus when we paid a taxi outside the terminal EUR25. How much are RC creaming off for arranging a bus???
There were no enrichment lectures other than odd things like how to remove cellulite, or whiten teeth and I have no doubt they were really sales pitches.
But all in all, it was a good novelty with the massive impressive ship, the excellent food and service, and the chance to visit lots of places around the Western Med.