We couldn't have asked for a more perfect vacation for our family.First of all, we got to escape winter in Chicagoland for almost 9 days. We loved leaving from the port of San Juan. The weather was in the mid eighties when we arrived on the Saturday before the cruise. The airport was easy to navigate. We hopped a cab to the Caribe Hilton that I booked through Hotwire. BTW: even though I booked it on Hotwire, I contacted them ahead of time with my Hilton Honors info and they had no problem giving me Gold status privileges despite not booking direct. The Caribe has a nice pool and ocean view. Food was expensive, as I knew it would be, but the service was very good. We had to wait for our room for over almost 2 hours, but they gave us an ocean view, drink coupons, etc. to compensate.
We left for the port around noon.There was a ten minute or so wait to check our bags and enter the port. No big deal. Once inside I purchased my 2 bottles of wine. The prices and selection at the port are fine (average $10.) There was no wait to check in in the C&A Gold line. We got right on the boat and headed to the cafe on the promenade for a sandwich/pizza. My dd and dh had the soda package on their sea pass so they ordered their sodas right away. At 2 we were allowed into our cabin - 9320 - a D1 on the ninth floor by the aft elevators.
We loved our room location. It was so convenient to the Windjammer and pool deck. We used the stairs, mostly. If we needed something we just quickly ran back to our room. The cabin was clean and in nice condition. The deck/deck furniture had some wear and tear but was clean. The TV was the old kind, but the picture was fine. Not a problem. The beds were comfortable. Our attendant, Mr. Carter, was great. He didn't have much personality so I wasn't won over at first, but he did a great job taking care of us. He kept our ice bucket filled and got us an opener. He made towel animals that delighted my daughter. Our room was kept very clean and he was very unobtrusive. When the battery in our door lock died he got it fixed for us very quickly.
Our waiters, Kennedy and Prakesh, were very good. We did My Time Dining which worked perfect for us. We at 6, 6:30 or 7 and never had any wait to sit down. We also ate at Portofino and did the Windjammer 2X for dinner. Loved the Indian food in the Windjammer. Our daughter loved Johnny Rockets. Twice she wanted dinner there so she could chill out in the room while we went to dinner. We thought the restaurants were very good, but not great. Some things were very delicious, some not so much. Overall we were very satisfied. We never did room service. We were just so close to a food venue, it seemed silly.
We loved the size of the ship. We have been on Liberty, but we preferred Adventure. It seemed less crowded to us, although we sailed Liberty on Thanksgiving so that could explain it. We loved the mix of the passengers. I would guess that the majority were Americans/Canadians with a good international mix including Europeans. There were guests from Puerto Rico (duh!) and South America. Sometimes you'd run into people because they'd we walking on the opposite side than you, but we had no issues with other's behavior. (The inability of non-runners to use the running track seems to be a cultural universal!) Almost everyone I encountered was super polite.
We found the dancers and singers good, but not great. We only saw a couple of shows. Quest and Love & Marriage were fun. The ice show was great. We ice skated couple times and we kept running into the professional skaters who were super nice to my daughter. We roller bladed up top which was a first for us. We were never bored.
Spa & Fitness:
Spa was nice. Personnel varied. Some were nice; some had the hard sell & attitude. I had a great massage. I took 3 spin classes. Each class cost about $12 or so. It was worth it. By the way, don't be discouraged by the full sign up sheet. Many people didn't show up (signing up is free) and there were always bikes left. I was going to try the boot camp class, but when I saw the cost ($69) figured I could skip it. Apparently everyone else did, too. I think I saw one person signed up. Go figure. I ran on the upper track one morning (and walked another) and it was great to check out the new port. The track is easy to use and 5x equals one mile. Much nicer than being stuck in a gym.
Our time was 8:00am, but we ate breakfast in the Windjammer at 8:30 (open until 9) and didn't get off until 10:00. We've never stayed so late before and I swear they used a human dog whistle to scare us off! There was some sort of annoying noise at 10. There was no line as we got off, but there was a line at customs. This line moved quickly, though. We caught a cab to Barrachina's restaurant and stored out luggage. After some shopping in Old San Juan, we at lunch at Barrachinas - the pina coladas are awesome - we got a cab to the airport. We left 2.5 hours before our flight but was held up an extra 50 minutes by a protest on the highway outside the airport. We made our flight, but not with a moment to spare.
We would take this cruise again in a heartbeat. I think my daughter has post-cruise depression. ; ) We might take the other route next year. I would like to try other ships and ports, just because I like new experiences, but I can't recommend Adventure enough.