SHIP: Adventure of the Seas - Voyager class, but getting old now. It is due for refurb in April 2014.
Staff and help were excellent for us during this cruise. Captain walked around the ship a lot, talking to passengers.
STATEROOM: We upgraded from a balcony to a Junior Suite at the last minute, which was nice, but it was only slightly larger. Definitely had more space and storage, so that was nice. Our stateroom attendant did a great job for us, making up both beds in the morning, checking in the afternoon, then doing turn-down service at night., Of course that's the only way they make money (tips), so we have never really had an issue with our service.
RESTAURANT: Again, excellent food, and a pretty good (wide range) selection each evening. Wait staff was attentive and friendly, but this is normal for RCI. and soon learned exactly what we wanted for each meal (2 rolls, lemon wedges, diced tomatoes on Caesar More
salad). The only disappointment was that they did not serve lobster any night (it was, of course, available for purchase any evening).
BARS: They have the standard assortment of bars on Adventure: Schooner (piano) bar. Imperial (dance floor) bar, Champagne (fancy drinks) bar, and of course pool bars to sell more drinks. The Viking Crown Lounge is the highest on the ship (14th floor), and offers a great panoramic view from up high. The nightly reception (Diamond, Diamond Plus, and Pinnacle member in the Crown and Anchor Society) were served here on 14, in 2 different rooms. Unfortunately, the Diamond area did not serve any food, and the only free drinks were wine and champagne (you got it, Diamond members could not get even a free draft beer with their status).
CRUISE STOPS: The Canary Islands were beautiful, and still warm at this time of year. (I could not have found them on a map until my daughter talked me into this cruise). They remind me of Hawaii a little, as they are all volcanic, with the last eruption being in 1976. They grow grapes (wine), sugar cane, and a few other crops. As usual, the four stops (islands of La Palma, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, and Lanzarote) were nice, with a decent selection of tours/excursions from which to choose. My personal favorite stop was Lisbon (Lisboa in Portuguese), where we took a city tour and had an excellent guide. The two stops in Spain (Gijon and Vigo) were nice, where we sampled some nice wines. The island of Madiera (the only Portuguese island) was also nice. Port wine was good and there was really too much to see in one day.
Coming back to Southampton was a little rough, and too cold for getting any sun. We were coming north and into a due north wind for the last 3-4 days, except for Lisbon. Of course, when we hit Southampton (and London) it was rainy and cool. Transers to and from Heathrow (LHR) were no problem.
SUMMARY: It was nice to see these islands (not named after the bird), and also the 4 other stops. So for a 13-day (RCI calls it a 14-night) cruise, 8 stops and 5 cruising days is a good mix. Once the Adventure has had it's overhaul, I think it will be much nicer. This was our second cruise on Adventure, as it cruises the Caribbean out of San Juan, PR during the winter months. Less
Cabin was a little small for a JS, but it was livable. There was a flat-screen television, good for the cruising days. Our stateroom attendant was excellent, and that always helps. Spending 2 weeks on board was a little long for us, but we enjoyed our room. We were hoping for a fold-out couch, but did not get one. I think those are standard in a JS on Freedom class and Oasis class ships.