If your fellow cruisers suggest doing back-to-back seven-night cruises, book it (or them) ASAP. We just got back from consecutive cruises on the Adventure of the Seas and it was a great experience. We sailed out of San Juan on Super Bowl Sunday and, for the first time in my experience, Royal Caribbean (RCI) put on a great party. It was held in Studio B (the ice rink). 'Burgers, hot dogs, chips, etc. A large screen at one end of the venue and lots of big screen TVs all around.
Week number one included such islands as Aruba, Curacao, and St. Thomas. For the most part our group of 12-16 grabbed a cab and went to the beach, all except in the port town of Willemstad in Curacao. That's the prettiest town I've seen in the Caribbean, by a wide margin. We just hung out, drank a bit, shopped a bit - loved it. As for cabs, many of the Caribbean islands are getting very organized with taxis. Generally there are dispatchers who get you into the right cab, and prices are fixed. I spoke to a couple who were rocked for a $40 cab fare. Talk to the dispatcher first; let them talk to the cabbies. Be generous though, and tip.
Week two was the Southern Caribbean including St. Croix, St. Maarten, St. Lucia, and Barbados. Did some beaches, but also three ship-based excursions - a bus ride to a beach in St. Croix and two trips on a catamaran. If you do a catamaran excursion, be prepared to party.
In between the cruises we came back to San Juan, spending Saturday at sea and most of Sunday in port. For a few hours, we and the other 155 consecutive cruisers had the ship to ourselves, and RCI put on a special lunch for us at noon. Nice touch.
In general food on the Adventure was better than recent RCI cruises we've done. Standouts included lasagna, chicken cordon bleu, and very good crab cakes. Try the Crab Cakes Benedict in the dining room at breakfast when they're available. Most of us did the made-to-order eggs in the Windjammer at breakfast, and we complained about the ordering system. Rather than line up and tell the chef what you wanted, you gave your order to an assistant who spoke to the chef while you stood around, getting in the way.
By week two, RCI had gone back to the old method, which we were used to. Not only was it a smoother operation, but it illustrated RCI's aim to please. They heard our complaints (as well as from others, I expect) and responded. Over and over, RCI's staff demonstrated their cruise line's commitment to quality service and attention to customer input.
As for the ship itself, it is simply a luxury hotel, sailing through the ocean. The forward section features an ornate three-deck staircase, from which you can look up to the eight decks above you. Take some time and drink in the sight. The Promenade - a group of shops, bars, and restaurants - runs the length of deck five. It's a lively, attractive place to meet your friends, make new acquaintances, or watch the people go by.
Was everything perfect? Of course not, not on a ship of this size. But, for whatever reason, I have never felt more comfortable on a cruise ship. As for the staff, they went out of their way to provide service, and did so in a friendly, personal way. I understand the Adventure is going into dry dock soon for refurbishment and some upgrades. When it hits the water again, be ready to book it, and think about a back-to-back. You will love it.