I'm just back from a 7 night cruise to Norway on Adventure. This has been my first cruise with RCI for a while (having favoured X and Azamara over the past few years) so please excuse me if I state things that you know!!!
My first comments will be about the refurb....RCI have supposedly spent $50million on the recent refit. If I were RCI I would ask for my money back
The ship is in terrible condition in places - like the banquettes in the Windjammer...which are ripped, torn and worn.
The rust round the balconies has not been tended in years, the railings need varnishing, the pools need tiling.
All I can see that is new is a flat screen TV in the room, every thing else is the same, old curtains, ripped nets, saggy sofas...
The big screen by the pool seems to be underutilised. And the only film that people seemed to watch (One Direction movie) they turned off before the end!
The cruise was during the UK half term so there were over 500 children on board. Most were well behaved; others were not, and the parents seemed to pay little notice when the children were screaming around people trying to read in the lounges. There is only one 'child free' area on the ship and that is the Solarium. However I even saw children here on the sun loungers. I really do think that perhaps RCI should enforce the rules - the towel police were not around either and I lay next to a chair that was unoccupied for 2 hours (until I removed the towel...).
The weather was fabulous! We had glorious sunny skies for 3 days.
We visted Kristiansand, Alesund, Flam and Stavanger and had a day at sea each way.
Kristiansand we visited on a Sunday. It seemed to come as a surprise to most people that Norway is closed on a Sunday! There was a HOHO bus for 200NOK and a little train for 100NOK to take you into town. Or you could walk. A very pretty town with lovely cathedral but as we were only there for a few hours it was a flying visit
In Alesund it was unfortunately overcast. A very easy walk into town, with the pretty buildings and cobbled streets.
Again there was a HOHO bus but we caught the little tram for a city tour up to the viewpoint for 150NOK.
There was free wifi in the main street opposite the hotel - just look for the crew with their iPads!
Flam was another beautiful day. We did not take the train trip as we have done this before (it was around £70pp) so we strolled around the few shops and then relaxed by the pool in the sunshine with the snow on the mountains around us. Again there is free wifi in the new building right on the pier side.
Stavanger was the highlight of the trip... a really lovely city with cobbled streets, good shops, a beautiful cathedral and a charming old town with white wooden houses right opposite the ship.
We had a balcony on deck 7. There was a kettle, (take a carton of milk from the WindJammer to keep in the fridge). Teabags are Tetleys and not Liptons
Lunch options - were the Windjammer, and there was the Brasserie 30 lunch in the MDR on the sea days and interestingly enough there was also a buffet in the MDR on the day we left Kristiansand served from 12;30 - 2;00 ( we sailed at 2;00) and on the day we were arrived in Alesund at 11;00 which was served from 11;30 - 1;00.
I'm a bit too old for inline skating but I saw that the icerink was open for eight 40 minute sessions on Day 6 (a sea day), and for a few other random sessions.
We had MTD so ate in the dining room except for one where we went to the WindJammer. I was disappointed to see that they did not lay the tables with tablecloths any more and it lacked little atmosphere.
Our waiters/esses in the MDR were very good.
Food was generally good - the cold cherry soup was one of the best I have ever had!
We also dined once at Giovanni's Table. Very good - but don't bother booking in advance as they were always seen around the ship touting for business offering 25% off.
At lunch they also set up a table in the RP and served what I assumed were the famous Roast Beef sandwiches ..... I never had one as I am waiting till the Oasis and the proper Park Café!
On formal nights I have never seen so many DJs! I would estimate that at least 80% of men were in a DJ.
In the cabin there were larger round bars of soap instead of the tiny ones left before. There is still the Fairy Liquid like gloop in the shampoo dispenser so if you value your hair take your own shampoo.
The hairdryer is in the top drawer and is very powerful. Don't use it standing up by the mirror otherwise you may set off the smoke alarms.
The queue for tickets for the ice show stretched the length of the RP. Don't worry - you can pick them up from a stand by the Guest Relations desk or also in the Diamond Lounge.
Talking of the Diamond Lounge, this was a new addition and it was very nice indeed! Lovely new furniture, outside seating area and Dionne was an excellent hostess.
I am a Diamond member and got 1 hours free wifi. No coupon booklets so I found it rather difficult to keep track of what I was entitled to, and probably didn't use everything I was entitled to.
Entertainment: we had a BeeGees tribute band and a comedy magician - both were very good; however the shows by the ships singers and dancers I found a bit 'screechy'. There was no band by the pool any more.
There is no charge for pool towels any more.
The quizzes were held several times a day but you could never get a seat as they were so popular. Perhaps they should consider a bigger venue?
The Times and The Sun were available to buy (sorry didn't see the cost) as there were free copies in the DL.
Usual TV channels - strangely enough with adverts in Polish.
Drinks have been rounded up to include the service charge. It is $2.50 for a Diet Coke, $8 for a whiskey, $9 for a Hendricks and tonic and $10.90 for a frozen strawberry margarita! All wines we had were either $35 or $40.
The M&M was rather poor. No open mike introductions and one person he spoke with didn't seem to know what CruiseCritic was and obviously wasn't a contributor!
In summary, despite the disappointing condition of the ship, the cruise itself was good. As with everything Royal "it does what it says on the tin" and you know what you are going to get.