My wife and I, both in our late 40's, decided to try another cruise line after only sailing with Carnival in the past. We saw the itinerary listed for the Adventure of the Seas and love to sail out of San Juan, so this cruise was a no-brainer. We cruised with so many great friends, new and old, that we met from our roll call. It had to be fate that so many like minded people all chose that cruise. It just made this cruise that much more special and we are already missing our friends.
We had read on some threads that embarking was starting much later on the AOS. Luckily, we listened to our friends ( namely Gary and Michael ) and headed to the port at approximately 11am. It was a breeze to go through security and the other processes and we were onboard by noon.
The cruiseship was amazing. Nothing else can describe how much we liked everything we saw. The promenade was our favourite part of the ship and nothing like we had witnessed before. The ship was in great More
shape and we really didn't notice any wear and tear that some others speak of.
We found ourselves comparing this ship to those of Carnival that we had sailed on. We couldn't shake it as the lines are distinctly different. There were some things we liked better on RC, namely the food both in the MDR and in the Windjammer. Somethings we liked better on Carnival like the rooms and ship set up. Nothing we experienced was a deal breaker. This just goes to show that whichever cruise line you choose, becomes what you are used to. People should try other lines before condemning them based on what they hear. We would sail on this cruiseline again in a heartbeat but still like Carnival. As a matter of fact, we would try any line as long as we liked the itinerary and got to sail with our friends again.
As always, we enjoyed the entire staff. From every area of service whether it be our steward or our waiters, we were treated so well. Don't you wish that some of the people you meet on the ship could work at your favourite restaurant or hotel? How much better would that make things.
One thing that we did not like, ( sorry but this had to be addressed ) was Royal Caribbean's version of My Time Dining. It just didn't work. As they describe it, it is like visiting your favourite local restaurant. Just show up and you will be seated as soon as possible. Well, we showed up the first night at around 6:30pm. We were told it would be 8:45pm before we could be seated. We were then told it would be that way all week so if we wanted to, we could book 6:45pm every night and have the same table. Not really what MTD is all about. It didn't ruin our cruise but it didn't leave us with a good view of how they do things. If they get this issue solved, they could be so much better.
Disembarking went very smooth as did each day we were in port. There was no major line ups at any time. The customs line up was a little long but it went very quickly.
One final thing,,,if you get a chance to see the ice show, please do it. It was so good and we both said it was our favourite show of the whole week. They do an amazing job considering they are on sketchy ice out in the middle of the ocean with the sea swaying the ship. We were very impressed. Less
Adventure of the Seas Cruises to the Southern Caribbean
Cabin review: Superior Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony
Great room regarding location. Close to the elevators and stairs but not right next to them. Only thing we did not like was the tiny shower. I am 6'4" and there was not much room in there. Very comfortable bed and bedding.
Went to Valley Church Beach. This island has the nicest looking beaches we have seen. Very picturesque. The sand is a little coarse as it is mostly made up from coral. The beach is gaining popularity and was packed by noon. Free wifi offered at the bar.
Our favourite island. The beaches on this island are second to none. The first time here we went to Rockley Beach. This time based on a good suggestion from a friend, we went to The Boatyard. The Boatyard is a beachclub located just south of the pier. For an admission fee of only $12 each, you get a chair and an umbrella as well as a free rum punch and a taxi back to the ship. The beach is very well run by a manager who watches out for everyones safety and happiness. Check out the rope swing when there. It is so much fun. Free wifi here too. Lots of cruise workers come here and the place is very lively but never feels too crowded. Good for all ages.
We arrived one day early and checked into the Verdanza Hotel. Nice option for location and proximity to the beach. Fantastic restaurant located just down the beach from the Intercontinental call La Playita. Located directly on the beach and good value.
Post cruise we booked a tour with San Juan Happy Tours. They are independent tour operators and are located just outside the ship as you are leaving. They are the people wearing the blue shirts. For only $25 per person you get a tour of Old San Juan and are dropped off for around an hour and a half to tour on your own. Your luggage is safe in the back of the van. Afterwards, the van then takes you to the airport. Perfect solution if you have a late flight. http://sanjuanhappytours.webs.com/
Expect everything from taxis to restaurants to be expensive. As well, hotels all charge you a hotel/tourist tax over and above that many do not advertise. Just be aware.
A nice island but unfortunately our least favourite. Took a taxi to Rainbow Beach located about a mile north of the pier. Nice little beach but it is a little rocky until you get out further. Big drop off too as you enter the water.
One nice thing was the beach bar. Their famous Lime in the Coconut drink is that good! Their is also a smaller beer only bar at the bottom of the stairs of the main bar. Very funny guy working there.
Others found a nice tour of the island for only $20 offered right at the pier. Wish we had have done this.
After using Cosol a few years ago, our group decided to see the island from a different perspective. We took a catamaran tour from BateauMygo. www.bateaumygo.com We were taxied from the ship to Marigot Bay where the boat awaited us. We sailed down to the Pitons where we stopped to swim in the clearest water I have ever seen. Everyone had a wonderful time and it was nice having this private tour over the crowded ship sponsored cats we saw sail by. After another stop for swimming, we then finished our sailing with a great meal back in Marigot Bay before being taxied back to the ship. Highly recommended
One of our top 3 islands. This time my wife and I as well as another couple went to Dawn Beach. The taxi was approximately $16 round trip. What a great beach! Not busy and the beach is awesome. The drink prices are quite attractive too. We were right out front of Busby's Beach Bar where the beer was only $1 after 11am. If you find that price too expensive, the other bar down the beach was offering 10 Coronas for only $7.
Left a little early to shop downtown. Great downtown area for both shopping and outdoor cafes.