Overall, this was a great vacation for my partner and I. We are both in our 30's and have cruised on both Princess and Norwegian before but decided to try Royal Caribbean for the first time. I booked this ship knowing how large it was and how much there was to do on board. I'm not going to write out every detail here but will give an overview of positives and negatives.
The staff was very friendly and helpful. Our room steward was very attentive. There was always something to do - from rock climbing, ping pong, basketball, minigolf and ice skating to just relaxing by the pool or going to the fitness center. The food was good but not great. We ate in the dining room every night where the food seemed to be a little better than the buffet. Based on the quality of the food, we decided not to pay a cover charge to go to Portofino's since we didn't feel it would be that much better. We truly enjoyed our balcony views everyday and felt that this was worth paying more for, however, we booked very far in advance and got a great deal compared to what they normally charge. It was also very nice to fly into Puerto Rico the night before we left to see the beaches and eat local dishes. We stayed at the Hampton Inn for a very reasonable price and would highly recommend it. The ports of call - St Thomas, St Kitts, Aruba and Curacao were all worth seeing and we had a wonderful time. We only did one excursion and did our own exploring by foot or taxi everywhere else.
I'll be honest, there were several disappointments on this cruise that I didn't experience with either Norwegian or Princess that are worth mentioning. I'm not going to give my opinion here...just facts. The fact is that Adventure of the Seas is an old ship and has a lot of wear and tear. It was clean for the most part but didn't always feel that way. For instance, most of the pool towels had stains on them. Our couch in the stateroom had old stains on it. Our bed was sagging badly in the middle and was not very comfortable. Our balcony chairs were very old and falling apart. The balconies themselves tended to be very closed off, no glass at your feet on this ship, just a lot of steel everywhere. There were many items on the menus that weren't available. My biggest pet peeve was how much smoking was allowed on the ship. For instance, they allow smoking at the Duck and Dog Pub in the main promenade which is not open air at all. The whole promenade smelled like an ash tray which grossed me out considerably. At one point, I was sitting at the Schooner Bar and I saw water dripping through one of the lights in the ceiling and had to point it out to the bartender so he could see about getting it fixed. The service on the ship was OK but nothing special. We had to change where we sat for dinner after the first two nights because out waiter forgot just about everything we asked for, I was even given a menu in french. After we switched we had a wonderful experience however and have no complaints there. Leaving from Puerto Rico was also a very different experience. Almost everyone on the ship was from PR and spoke Spanish - which was fine but at times we felt a little isolated due to this fact.
Overall, I'd say the ship needs dry dock ASAP. It doesn't feel luxurious in any way at this point. Even though my partner and I had a good time and made the most of things, we will never sail on RC again. We enjoyed our experience on Princess and Norwegian much better. Also, we now know that 3500 people is a LOT of people and that quality does suffer from food to service because of this. We will choose a smaller ship next time as well. It was nice to try the many activities they had on board that are unique to RC but other than that - I would recommend passing on this ship until it's at least been refurbished.