We flew into Puerto Rico the day before embarkation and made our way around Old San Juan, enjoying the sights. We ate lunch at St. Germain Bistro & Café. There was about a 20 minute wait which was expected because it is a fairly popular spot to eat. The food and service was good. Nothing too exciting! We walked along the Walls of La Fortaleza. It is very picturesque. We then shopped and dropped some cash off at some of the local shops. We visited the Cathedral of San Juan Batista where Juan Ponce De Leon is buried. It is a beautiful church and a definite must visit in Old San Juan. We stayed at Hotel Milano. It is in the heart of Old San Juan, old, quaint and cheap, but it gets the job done for a one night pre-cruise stay. We had breakfast at Cafe Manolin and it was very good and inexpensive. Extremely good coffee!
Embarkation went smoothly. We took a taxi from the hotel to the pier for $20 including tip for handling our bags. We jumped in the line to check our luggage ($1 tip per bag) which continued directly to check in from there. Total time to board the ship was about ½ hour.
The Ship is in good shape considering she is 12 years of age. Does she have some wear and tear? Yes. Does she need a facelift? Yes. Overall the ship is clean and in good order. The promenade is bright and colorful and what you expect from RCCL. The three tiered MDR is beautiful with golden pillars and golden ceiling with plenty of windows for daylight and lights for evening dining. The Lyric Theater is a nice venue to enjoy shows. We only used the adults only Solarium (kid free trip). On sail away day we found loungers quite easily and hung out for a few hours. On the one and only sea day, it was packed, but after about 15 minutes a couple loungers opened up and we soaked up the sun with a nice couple from England. It was a nice four hours in and out of the pool. Nice and peaceful.
The entertainment was good. Remember, these are my opinions and my likes are my likes not yours, right? Sooooo, I thought Marcus Terrell & the Serenades were very good. Marcus was on Idol Year 4. Not sure how he didn’t win. He has a phenomenal voice. The production show was good. It was just the normal dancing and singing show with a few neat scenes and wrinkles in the production. The Ice show was an ice show. I think the small venue makes it tough on the skaters. The aerial part of the show was great. What that young lady does hanging on ropes from the ceiling is quite incredible and definitely makes it a not to miss show.
The food was good in my opinion. I thought the presentation was what you would expect in the MDR, the food was cooked as requested and the service was really good. I felt the appetizer and entrée variety was fine because I was able to eat a different item each night. The dessert selection was a little lacking, but I love chocolate and something to my chocolate liking was always available. The main negative to our experience was being seated in a corner next to the window, so we only saw the bar tender once each night and the photographer never made his way to our table so we had no dining pictures. We dined in Portofino the last night and my wife was not excited because Italian is not her favorite, but she sure was glad we dined there. I had a salmon dish and she had a pasta dish and they both were quite good. I didn’t make note of what we ordered. The pasta was extremely tasteful. The dessert - TORTA AL CIOCCOLATO CON PANNA MONTATA AL CAFFÈ ESPRESSO – let me tell you, was out of this world good. If I wasn’t about to pass out I would have had another one.
We enjoyed the bars, 80’s music trivia, piano, etc. We felt the service was generally good and the prices and quality of the drinks was just about right.
We had a mid-ship Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom with balcony (7312). It was near the elevators and stairs and we never had too much noise or traffic due to the close proximity of either. The room was clean and everything in the room was in working order. The room size and layout is fine. The storage space was good and allowed us to stay organized. The luggage was easily stored under the bed enabling us to use the luggage as a hamper. The balcony was great. I know a lot of people don’t particularly care for the design of the balcony on this ship, but we liked it just find. It was nice and private enough to soak up the night breeze (if you catch my drift) and enjoy morning breakfast. There are only two mid-ship balcony staterooms on each side of the ship that allow you to see both forward and aft. So, choose your mid-ship balconies accordingly. Our room attendant was good and he was personable. He left us our requisite amount of towel pets. We felt he pampered us well.
Overall, this was one of our best adults’ only get-a-way. We plan to return to Adventure of the Seas after she gets her Oasis amenities upgrade and take the opposite itinerary.