Adventure of the Seas Cruise Review by Zulu Time: Fun in the sun in late February
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Fun in the sun in late February
This is my second cruise with Royal Caribbean (my first was on the Liberty to the western Caribbean) and I have to say it was just as much fun this time around. I had my worries. of course, because I plowed through the reviews written by other cruisers so I was a bit apprehensive about certain aspects of this trip (like disembarking from San Juan and it's crazy port, for instance). The great news for me and my friend was that it was way better than anticipated. Here's my breakdown of all the stuff and so forth:
Boarding The Ship: surprisingly easy and relatively quick, as in less than 20 minutes. This may be because we spent the night in San Juan previous to departure; took advantage of the Royal Caribbean transfer from the hotel to the ship and so on. Since our luggage went ahead, we merely got into the line on the left-hand side and went to check in with our Set Sail printouts (already signed) and passports. We were then herded onto the Adventure where we were bagged by the More lurking photographers on the gangway to get out photos taken. For those of you who find getting your photo taken attack-style while you look like a windblown mess as appealing as I do, you can go down to deck 3 and find your photo(s) on the boards there, pick them out and stealthily deposit them in trash containers they keep right in the studio area. No point in tormenting others with my less than photogenic visage, you know?
Staterooms: Small but nice. Adventure (as others have noted) is an older ship but she looks pretty good for a gal her age. There may be a bit of the wear-and-tear that comes with time but it's not horribly noticeable. Decent storage for such a confined space, too. We had a balcony room on deck 9 so I really loved the fact that I could step out onto said balcony to get a breath of fresh air when needed.
Food: Delicious. If I could cook like that at home (or get my guy to do it) then I would be one happy gal but alas, no. So I go on cruises to be spoiled a bit. Our waitstaff (Carlos and Ferna) were just awesome.
Spa: Expensive but hey, I work for a living and so I indulged in a massage, facial and manicure and it felt like money well spent. The staff is very warm and friendly and extremely good at what they do. They feature Elemis products (good but pricey stuff) that you can buy afterward if you want.
Fitness Centre: Excellent. I used the treadmill, the weights and took a yoga class that beat the tar out of me (which means I'm a lot less flexible than I thought) and I definitely appreciated the broad spectrum availability of both machines and classes. You probably won't be standing around in line waiting for use of something here because the ship has a fair sized gym, along with studios.
Entertainment: Great. Viva Las Vegas was an homage to several "Vegas" style entertainers (Cher, Celine Dion, Elvis, etc.) and the performers were very good and very talented. The ice show was probably the best so go to the concierge desk and get your free tickets early because shows fill up fast. The game show stuff, like "Love and Marriage" or "The Quest" are really quite funny to watch and worth the time to see, even though they come on later at night. Stay awake for at least one of them. Not for children because a lot of funny and risque stuff flies during those shows.
Excursions: With 5 ports to pick from, we weren't bored. I went scuba diving in St Croix (magnificent) while my friend did one of the booze tours to Cruzan rum which she said was pretty awesome. We also stopped in St Maarten, Antigua, St Lucia and Barbados. They may all be Caribbean islands but each one had it's own style and pace and Royal Caribbean offered a ton of excursions suited to all kinds of needs or physical pace. I had fun, anyway.
Portofino Restaurant: In a category by itself. We tried the wine tasting dinner and it was fabulous. That's what I remember anyway because I got a little bombed on the delicious samplings of wine they offered to compliment each of the 5 courses in the meal. Thank you to our great waiter, Marin from Croatia for that extra Limoncello shot at the close of a wonderful dinner. Now that I'm back home, eating microwaved Lean Cuisine, I really appreciate that break from the real world and work and the chance to live it up with such fine dining. By the way: Lean Cuisine has yet to offer Lobster Tail in beurre blanc so I'll just have to cherish the memory of dinner at Portofinos for now.
Departure: Not too bad. We scheduled a tour of the Bacardi rum factory because our flight didn't leave until after 3:00 pm so that may be one of the reasons we were off the boat within an hour of marshaling in the Imperial lounge below. The only crazy part that people should be forewarned about here is that, when you get into the giant hangar area to retrieve your bags, it's chaotic. The bags are lined up in front of a number that will match the one on your departure tag but you will be fighting other people who are trying to wrestle their luggage out of the confined space as well so be prepared for that bit. You'll clear customs and then back to the airport and reality.
Summation: Great cruise. The staff on board Adventure is wonderful and attentive. I can't say enough about them. There is plenty to do and enjoy, or, if you just want to veg out, Royal has a few channels that play recent movies on them over and over again. I would sail with Royal again because this is the second cruise on them that I've had that turned out great. Cheers! Less
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