67 Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

Many friends who are frequent cruisers recommended Royal Caribbean for our active family. My husband and I traveled with our four boys, ages 21 to 15 to Puerto Rico to board the ship. We spent the first 2 nights in San Juan enjoying the ... Read More
Many friends who are frequent cruisers recommended Royal Caribbean for our active family. My husband and I traveled with our four boys, ages 21 to 15 to Puerto Rico to board the ship. We spent the first 2 nights in San Juan enjoying the beach, restaurants, and Old San Juan beforehand. Discovered the delicious Puerto Rican food, Mofango, which goes great with Mojitos! La Concha by Renaissance is a terrific hotel which offers a good AAA discount. We boarded the ship and liked our 3 cabins of 8370 (balcony), 8371 and 8373 (inside cabins for the boys). Gloria was our lovely housekeeper who we enjoyed visiting with daily. She took great care of us, and made towel animals for us every night. Having a balcony is wonderful and we all enjoyed it. You can order free continental breakfast every morning, or even just coffee to enjoy, before heading up to Windjammer for breakfast. The kids were fine with their inside cabins (saved us some money). We requested extra keys from Guest Services so we could get into each other's cabins, which came in handy. It was also good to have the lanyards to wear, to keep the keys handy around our necks. Ask Guest Services to punch a hole in the key to easily hang on the lanyard, for easy access. The 6 of us enjoyed a variety of activities, sometimes together, and sometimes exploring on our own. Then we'd regroup at lunch or dinner and share. We chose not to buy the wifi package, because it's expensive. I'm really glad we left our phones in the cabins, as it was nice to interact with our kids, without someone always looking at their phone! Just like old times, right? We'd leave an itinerary on the outside of the door for each other, with 4 or 5 places and times, so we could find each other if interested. Our 15 and 17 year olds went to Optics the first night (teen club) and met some really cool kids. They linked up with these kids almost every night and had a blast. Sometimes they'd get together at Optics and participate in the organized activities, but they preferred just meeting up and having fun with their new friends outside of the teen group area. They're both really glad they were brave and went the first night. Our busy family chose My Time Dining, which worked out well. We had Table 217 three of the nights, with the same two waiters who were excellent. We'd call each day to reserve that table. Yet we also ate at Windjammer one night when the boys didn't want to dress up, and we went to Giovanni's one night, which I highly recommend. The food was outstanding at all 3 restaurants. We brought in 6 bottles of wine when we embarked on the ship, which is allowed (2 bot allowed per cabin). Then we brought one bottle to dinner each night and paid the $15 corkage fee. Great way to enjoy excellent wine each night without paying a fortune. Our favorite activities included Quest and the Love/Marriage Game. I haven't laughed so hard in years! If you haven't been, GO! They're each only offered one time on the cruise, at night, so look for each ahead of time. We didn't buy the drinks package since none of us are big drinkers, and we were with our boys. Look for specials, like Mimosas in the casino for $1 each at certain times. For 3 of our 4 ports, we rented trucks, 4 x 4's, and scooters. We loved this, and with 6 in our family, it worked out to be very reasonable compared with expensive excursions. We then had our own wheels to explore on our own schedule. It's an island, and easy to get around. Just do a little homework ahead of time for sights you want to see. We love to snorkel, and brought our own gear. So we knew of 3 or 4 places we wanted to see on each island. Bonaire has the best snorkeling, especially on the west side of the island. 1000 Steps was our favorite, along with the Salt Pier. So much to see underwater, and extremely accessible from the beach. We rented trucks for $100/day from Bonaire RentaCar, and highly recommend the husband and wife team. They locked up our passports and valuables, at our request, so we didn't have to worry about them while snorkeling. On Curacao, we didn't rent our own transportation and instead caught a taxi to Caracas Beach to snorkel at the Sunken Tugboat. The cab driver didn't know exactly where the Tugboat was, but when we got close, we stopped and asked a scuba group, and they knew right where to go. The snorkeling was excellent! Lots of fish, and the boys thought it was cool to dive around a sunken boat. Then we caught the taxi to Mombo Beach, and we snorkeled out of the popular swimming area to the other side of the breakwater. Spotted a giant sting ray, and lots of fish. Be sure to snorkel under the pier to the right side of the swimming area; lots of fish there too. We then caught the taxi back to the ship, but before boarding, we walked across the Queen Emma Bridge. Very cool, and didn't take long at all. It's about a 10 minute walk from the ship. Aruba was an awesome island where we rented two 4x4's, and one side-by-side that holds 5 people. We rented from Luis, the owner of RoadRunner ATV, who we highly recommend. We give Luis a 10!!! He keeps his equipment in great shape, and we drove the whole island. He gave us a map with lots of recommended stops. Be sure to bring a phone with wifi to downloap the app for directions. We used it a few times. The best snorkeling was early on in our day, just north of the ship on a gorgeous beach. The best 4-wheeling was on the east side of the island. The boys especially had a blast driving! Be sure to ask about the new natural pool, which isn't as crowded and touristy as the Natural Pool. The Baby Bridge is worth seeing, but the Natural Bridge is a tourist trap. In addition, the Natural Bridge caved in a long time ago!! Driving to the Natural Pool was a rugged adventure! Loved it. But it does cost about $10/person to enter the National Park. Baby Beach at the south end was beautiful, but probably not worth the long drive. It's very calm, almost like babies could just wade in the water, which is probably where the name originates. Our last port was St. Martin, which we all loved. Here our family rented 3 scooters and two 4x4's from Solid ATV. The owner keeps his machines clean and in great shape. He's located about a 10 minute walk from the ship. He gave us a map and great directions. We loved Orient Beach on the french side. Half the beach is a nude beach, clothes optional. Our boys ventured over there on their own, and when they returned, my husband and I took a stroll. They weren't crazy about it, but my husband and I enjoyed it, especially going for a swim in the teal/turquouise water, sans swimsuits! We visited the famous Maho Beach, or Airport Beach, famous for the close proximity of planes overhead. We didn't know that the day before, a woman had actually been killed due to jet blast! This is highly unusual, but be careful if you visit. I went for a swim and watched the planes land overhead. We hated to leave these beautiful islands. I think this was my favorite vacation ever!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
I am not going to give a lengthy review of what my experience was like. Instead, I will give the pros and cons as this was my very first cruise Pros: 1. Staff was very friendly (including the bartenders) I will give a list of crew ... Read More
I am not going to give a lengthy review of what my experience was like. Instead, I will give the pros and cons as this was my very first cruise Pros: 1. Staff was very friendly (including the bartenders) I will give a list of crew members that made our cruise memorable below 2. The entertainment was a lost of fun. Music Trivia and Karaoke in the Schooner bar made our nights fun. 3. Variety of food on the menu in the Main Dining Room. 4. Movies by the pool was a nice touch 5. I thought the ship was well maintained - did not notice anything that needed repairs badly. Cons: 1. Morning room service - Scrambled Eggs are powdered. Go to the MDR for breakfast (the eggs are real there). I had heard that the eggs at Windjammer are powdered too, but that is hearsay as I did not breakfast there. 2. While at port only 2 bars are open until around 2-4pm. The pool bar and Café Promenade. There were times I would have liked to hang out at the Duck and Dog, but it was closed. Just something to think about if you are buying a drink package. 3. Windjammer selection - Okay, I know it is a buffet, but I can only handle so much Carbs. No wonder people gain so much weight on a cruise. All they eat are carbs. 4. Although the MDR had a good variety each night for dinner it was often too salty. 5. All shops are closed while in port. It would be nice if they could leave the General Store open just for basic items that you may want if you stay on board. Crew that were memorable: Keifley - cabin steward (I am sure I misspelled the name - sounds like Keefely or keithly) Risa - Champagne Bar (I am sure I butchered the spelling here as well. Sounds like Reesa) Erica from Merica - One of the entertainment crew members. Always a lot of fun during trivia and karaoke Nai - Entertainment crew - but she is off the ship now and may not be returning Mr, D at the Champagne Bar And, I do not know his name, but he works at the Duck and Dog and was from the Ukraine. He made the best Tom Collins from scratch. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I don't usually do reviews but here goes. The Ship itself was great, very well maintained and clean everywhere. Our Cabin maid was fantastic keeping our room clean and tidy at all times. The food was good but not always hot in the ... Read More
I don't usually do reviews but here goes. The Ship itself was great, very well maintained and clean everywhere. Our Cabin maid was fantastic keeping our room clean and tidy at all times. The food was good but not always hot in the main dinning room, which you kind of expect when feeding that many people on that scale! To be honest we preferred the choice of food in the self serve Windjammer dinning area. But if you can book Giovanni's table as this was really special, lovely food and service and hot. Order wine by the glass though if you are on a drinks package as they'll charge for a full bottle. Of the islands we visited Barbados was definitely the highlight. Two days into the cruise I got a text from my bank asking me to contact them urgently about some potential credit card fraud. It took another 2-3 days to get through to them as they kept putting me on hold. Anyway my bank spotted some strange activity on my credit card the day after we left port and this is only place I used my card in the whole Caribbean. I am convinced the criminals are operating at the Port and when I told RC reception I wanted to speak to their Security officer I was very disappointed by their reaction. Basically the wanted nothing to do with and couldn't even be bothered to come and talk to me about what happened. Instead telling me the Port authorities employ the staff who check you in and take your card details even though they are wearing RC shirts! They then advised me via the reception staff to go to the Port Police in San Juan Puerto Rico to report the incident. They had tried making nearly $3000 of transactions on my card in 2 days! So let this be a warning and be careful when giving your details over before getting on the boat. But to be honest I didn't let me card out of sight and they didn't register my security code, which is why my Bank smelt the rat! All in all I thought the cruise was great, but their couldn't give attitude on such an important security breach was not good! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We went with the extended family (from grandparents to kids as young as 10) and found this to be a GREAT experience. The excursions are a must. We loved our snorkel excursion on st. Kitts -the guides made the trip a lot of fun for our ... Read More
We went with the extended family (from grandparents to kids as young as 10) and found this to be a GREAT experience. The excursions are a must. We loved our snorkel excursion on st. Kitts -the guides made the trip a lot of fun for our whole family and the dive sites and beach at Nevis were great. The Treetop zip lining at Loterie Farm on St. marteen was also very well run. Safety was emphasized and reinforced making us feel secure and Vilma was an engaging tour guide. Barbados was also a great island and our snorkeling over shipwrecks was some of our best snorkeling and the second part of the tour to Bathsheba with our guide Troy was informative and worthwhile. In the dining room we were lucky to have had great waiters Willson and Amy and their assistants Alina and Mauricio. Willson was our primary waiter and he was excellent from his dinner recommendations to his nightly toothpick puzzles for us to solve. His personality and drive to make sure our experience was excellent made for a great rendezvous with our group each night. This was a Great cruise for first timers or families. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
My husband and I went on a delayed honeymoon and enjoyed ourselves by the pool, at the game shows, watching poolside movies and at the ports of call. The Good-A fun atmosphere, and great cabin service attendants. The Bad- The ... Read More
My husband and I went on a delayed honeymoon and enjoyed ourselves by the pool, at the game shows, watching poolside movies and at the ports of call. The Good-A fun atmosphere, and great cabin service attendants. The Bad- The attention to detail. In the fitness center the drapes were falling off. Although our server in the dining room was friendly, he was very slow. The Indifferent-The food was hit and miss. Some dishes like the duck were fantastic. The prime rib was excellent one night and mediocre the next. At the Windjammer, the food was plentiful but not life-changing. The entertainment was also the same,the Ukrainian ice skaters were phenomenal, yet other acts were not very good. Overall it was a good value. Looking to try a newer ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We booked this cruise for our honeymoon and had only heard wonderful things about RC. I am going to break down my review of this cruise experience... Cabin - we got a deluxe room with a balcony. The room was nice, very clean. It was ... Read More
We booked this cruise for our honeymoon and had only heard wonderful things about RC. I am going to break down my review of this cruise experience... Cabin - we got a deluxe room with a balcony. The room was nice, very clean. It was roomy enough and not too small. It was too hot to really use the balcony much. That's not the fault of the cruise though. The bed was very uncomfortable. Two twin beds pushed together which made a hump in the middle. Of course the TV channels were mainly Spanish and not much to choose from. The guy,Christopher that took care of our room was excellent! We kept the air on full blast and still had a warm room. If you are hot natured, you better bring a fan!! One thing we did notice there would be stale moldy smells as we walked around the ship. Not sure if it's due to the age of the ship or what. Not what I want to smell after spending thousands of dollars. Dining - this was the most disappointing of the entire trip! I had been told to expect to gain weight because the food was wonderful and everywhere....not on this ship! By the second day, I was starving! The food on the buffet was Golden Corral quality. Golden Corral is ok every now and then...but every day? No. The main dining room was better. But you had to make sure you were there within the specific times. The food was better, but stay away from the steak!! It was like a frozen piece of grey meat. I never got a dessert that was really really good. The bottled water that you have to pay extra for was the cheap Crystal Geyser brand that actually made me and my husband so nauseated that we had to stop drinking it 3 days into the cruise. So much for 150.00 drink package... Embarkation - very pleased with each time we left and came back on the ship Entertainment - the entertainment was good. Not Broadway bound, but entertaining enough Shore excursions - they were good. They were expensive. We preferred to get off the boat and use the locals. Cheaper and usually got to ask more questions. Value for Money - we got a decent deal on this cruise, but for the money , I would expect better food and a better bed. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This was my first time cruising as an adult, so I don't have anything to compare to but we had a great time. We went to an island every day except the last day was cruising. The islands were gorgeous. The shows on the cruise we liked ... Read More
This was my first time cruising as an adult, so I don't have anything to compare to but we had a great time. We went to an island every day except the last day was cruising. The islands were gorgeous. The shows on the cruise we liked was the comedian the last night, the ice skating, love and marriage, and quest. The dancing and singing shows were not good! The one dancing/singing show we saw was a vegas type show and we were laughing throughout it b/c it was so bad. We had a great time at the other shows above though. There were not a lot of kids on this ship, which we liked because we wanted a break and relax. There were 2 formal nights. Some people were dressed in suits and some wearing jeans. The music on the ship was wonderful. There was a lot of places you could go to listen to music-schooner bar was piano and karaoke, the lobby had a great band, up on the pool deck was a great Jamaican band, and the pub had a guy on the guitar we liked to listen to. The embarkation was quick and easy; we got right on. We got to the ship early though. We went to San Juan a day early and got to see the sights at night. We ate at a restaurant on top of a hotel called punto de vista-great food and loved the atmosphere. We had breakfast at a quaint and yummy place called Caficultura. Then we toured the forts. St. Croix-We did Big Beard Snorkeling full day and rode a catamaran out to beautiful Buck island. The snorkeling part, I personally didn't enjoy but my friends did. The waves were way too rough and my goggles would fog up a lot. We stopped at a private beach to eat lunch; unique and fun experience. The boat ride back to St. Criox was a lot of fun. We were singing along with a ukulele and just relaxing. The crew was so friendly and seemed to love their jobs. St. Maarten-We did not have a excursion planned for this island. We took a taxi to Maho Beach to watch the planes fly over our heads at the beach. That was cool. Don't eat at places near the cruise ship. We ate lunch near cruise ship and waited over an hour, bad service, and people were hounding us about renting jet skis a lot. Antigua-We did the Antigua Buggy. This was our favorite excursion. We followed Wayne, the owner, around on buggies. We got to see places in Antigua we wouldn't have if not for this tour. We stopped at a few beaches and ate lunch at a cool restaurant called Sweet T's. This is a must see tour. He said when it has rained you get very muddy, but we went during a drought so just got a little dusty. Bring a towel and extra clothes. St. Lucia-My favorite island. I could stay on this island for days. We did the Cosol Tours. They were great. We got to see so much of the island. The roads up the mountains are windy and we were in the van a long time. I was feeling sick on the way back to cruise. So if you get car sick easily, I wouldn't recommended this tour maybe try a boat tour. We got to see banana plantations, ate a yummy local breakfast, waterfall, mud bath, hot springs, went to beautiful sugar beach in between the Pitons, and had lots of stops to take breathtaking pics. Overall, an experience of a lifetime! Barbados-We didn't have a excursion planned. We took a short cab ride over to the Boatyard. We paid $15 and got a free drink, 2 umbrella chairs (which were great b/c it rained a little there), and played on the rope swing, platform to dive off of, trampoline and climbing inflatable. This was not my favorite island, but we didn't see much of it. Our friends walked over to another resort to paddle board. We had fun. Overall, We had a great time. The 5 islands were amazing and the ship was fun. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
The staff and service on Royal Caribbean was excellent. Our room was also extremely clean. Food was average. The my time dining food was definitely better than the buffet and our waiters very attentive. My family agreed that the ... Read More
The staff and service on Royal Caribbean was excellent. Our room was also extremely clean. Food was average. The my time dining food was definitely better than the buffet and our waiters very attentive. My family agreed that the Windjammer was not good, like a Golden Coral. Lots of food, but other than the lettuce and salad, poor quality, poor tasting, and lots of passengers grabbing. We did two excursions, a dolphin push & pull in St. Kitt's and a kayak/snorkel in Antigua. We loved them both, although they were both very pricey. Our only complaint was that we spent a lot of time posing with the dolphins for pictures, that were not included and very pricey. My daughter even said that she would have rather another ride with the dolphin than smile at the camera so many times. The kayak/snorkel in Antigua was wonderful with breathtaking views and excellent guides, definitely not for someone out of shape, it was a workout. We also took cabs to beaches at St. Martaen, St. Lucia, and Barbados. Went to Renuit beach in St. Lucia and Vigie Beach in Barbados. We walked to a beach from the port in St. Martaen, very pushy people selling everything from foot massages to jewelry. All of the ports had people desparately trying to sell, but St. Martaen seemed the worst. Breathtaking views on the beaches in St. Lucia and Barbados, lots of fun water sports. Our cabin on the ship was clean but could use some updating, the couch has seen better days. Both my 9 yr old and 13 yr. old loved the kids and teen club. I also got 2 "complimentary" massages, since there was a promotion for each room, we had 2 for our family. After the first massage, the therapist really pushed me to buy products, I broke down and wasted $110 on 2 products. One of the massages was good, and the other nothing special. Then surprise, 20% gratuity, in life nothing is really free. Overall we had a wonderful time, but would not have felt safe in ports without my husband, with the exception of Barbados, these are very poor islands. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Loved the Adventure of the Seas cruise to the Southern Caribbean. Interior cabin 7521 The embarkation was painless as we booked the pre- and post-airport transfers. When we got to the dock, the line of passengers who still had their ... Read More
Loved the Adventure of the Seas cruise to the Southern Caribbean. Interior cabin 7521 The embarkation was painless as we booked the pre- and post-airport transfers. When we got to the dock, the line of passengers who still had their luggage was extremely long, and our shuttle driver escorted us in quickly (bypassing that line) and into queue to check in. We were in line maybe 5 minutes at the most. Our cabin steward, Leroy, was wonderful -- making the towels animals and greeting us each day by name and then invisibly making sure our cabin was made up or turned down each night. Was wondering how I'd do in an interior cabin and it couldn't have been more pleasant. Comfortable bed and pillow, and I slept so soundly because, of course, no sunlight to peek in the windows! Dining room waiter, Savio, and assistant waiter, Anton, were attentive and remembered all our little requests so we never had to ask a second time. The food was incredible and we ate there every night, never even considered the specialty restaurants. Front desk was helpful on a couple of occasions regarding some charges we didn't make and took care of it immediately in a very pleasant manner. The only reason this is not 5-stars is the cost of the excursions (we found that you can do your own thing at each port by just walking into the multitude of folks hawking their excursions. We did not go alone, but went on two separate occasions on 10-passenger vans for around $20/person for a 2 to 2-1/2 hour tours of the islands). Also, our one and only attempt to go to the Windjammer Cafe for breakfast (and this was by no means RC's issue) is the hoards of people who are pushing and shoving and kids running and screaming with not a parent to be seen. It's not like they're going to run out of food - they had four mammoth stations with attentive staff and omelet chefs. I wanted to try it, but was not able to tolerate the "it's all about me" attitude of the passengers. The dining room was a much calmer and peaceful atmosphere. Enjoyed all the entertainment throughout each day and evening. You can't get bored as something is always going on. I enjoyed this trip so much, that I booked another trip next summer for the Mediterranean! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Royal Caribbean 7 day cruise on Adventure of the Seas As a first time cruiser I am here to share some things we learned. The first day board the ship as early as possible and enjoy your ship. I recommend flying into San Juan at least a ... Read More
Royal Caribbean 7 day cruise on Adventure of the Seas As a first time cruiser I am here to share some things we learned. The first day board the ship as early as possible and enjoy your ship. I recommend flying into San Juan at least a day early and heading right over to the pier in the early afternoon. We stayed at the Hilton Caribe. Great property, location and service.  The first day spent cruising it's nice to relax. This is a very busy cruise because of all the ports you visit. Make time to attend the shopping guide with Eric and Tara. They offer great advice and coupons. We also learned how to build two free charm bracelets by getting a free charm at each port. Great gifts for the grand daughters. Excursions. In Barbados we did the Jolly Roger. This is a fun party cruise. If you are going for the snorkel you might be disappointed as it's not that good. The crew is absolutely great. Get the buffet lunch they offer.....delicious. And the rum punch had everyone dancing and going to bed early that evening. We highly recommend it!!!! St Lucia was something we did independently. We went to Pigeon Island National Park via a cab that we grabbed at the port terminal. It was beautiful. We climbed both hills. They are quite challenging and I do not recommend that you attempt this with small children. The views are so worth the climb. Take your time, wear sneakers and take water. We then went to the beach within the park. The is a place where you can rent a snorkel for $5.  There is a fruit guy that comes up to the beach and sells fruit and drinks. Fun! St Maarten we did independently too. We grabbed a cab and went with friends we met on the cruise and headed to Maho Beach to watch the planes. Absolutely incredible is all I can say; you have to go. There are bars on both sides of the beach. We went to Sunset Bar. We also rented beach chairs and u melas from them as well. Best time to catch the planes is between 11-2. Sunset Bar actually posts the daily flights on a surf board so you know what's coming in.  Antigua St John excursion consisted of a catamaran cruise. This offered a ride on a beautiful vessel, pristine beaches and yummy rum punch. After our excursion we went to town and shopped an the local shops. There are some awesome sterling silver shops if you like silver jewelry.  St. Croix was our last island and last excursion. We went on the Buck Island snorkel trip. If you like to snorkel, this is for you. The water and snorkeling was the best ever. Highly, highly recommend this trip. At the end of tour there was endless rum. Make sure you stop at the np each on the way back to the ship. There are no words to describe the beauty we saw.  As a tip for anyone snorkeling ..... Take some cereal from the Windjammer and use it to attack the fish and sea turtles. It enhances your snorkeling adventure.  San Juan ...... We love it. As a transfer to the airport we did the Old/New San Juan tour excursion. Pedro our tour guide was awesome.  We liked the tour and wished we would have done it prior to taking our cruise since we were there 2 days prior to our cruise.  Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
My dad decided that he didn't want to cruise alone, so off we went. Since this was my first cruise, I didn't know what to expect. We started in San Juan with a tour of the Bacardi Rum distillery, and if you have never been, I ... Read More
My dad decided that he didn't want to cruise alone, so off we went. Since this was my first cruise, I didn't know what to expect. We started in San Juan with a tour of the Bacardi Rum distillery, and if you have never been, I highly recommend it! Such a fun tour! Then, we got to the port for the cruise and got on the ship fairly quickly! Since my dad is has a bad hip, he had to have a wheelchair to embark and disembark the ship, and the staff were amazing when it came to getting him off and on the ship. What we got for a interior room exceeded our expectations! We had an interior promenade state room, and it was awesome! We were on deck six, and it was perfect. We could see all the action happening below, but still feel like it was quite private. Our room steward was fantastic, as he covered every request that we had (we wanted the bed separated into two twins) and his towel animals were such a treat. I found that the rooms was more than adequate. We found room to put out luggage, and there was more than enough space to put all our stuff in the bathroom. There was always something to do on the ship, so we were never bored. I was surprised to see how many activities that were going on at one time, so you could always find something to do. We participated in the karaoke, trivia nights, and went to the night clubs. We also saw movies on the big screen, and even in the theater downstairs. We also went and saw the ice show, and the comedy show, and they were both great. On the last night, I went to the game show, and had a blast! We went on tours in every port that we stopped in, and asking the ship staff which tour company to use was a breeze. The dining was, what can you say about the dining. We went with traditional dining, and the waiters that we had were just fantastic. They were quite knowledgeable, and funny! The head waiter, he did a magic trick for our table each night, and kept us well fed and happy. Even with the one lady at our table, who was an extremely picky eater, they managed to take care of her every need. As I said before, embarkation was a breeze, and the port employees were so good with my dad. I would highly recommend Royal Caribbean, and I am currently looking into another cruise with them, but this time, I'm going with my significant other, but this time, I think we might try a different deck, but the same type of room.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Returned today from the france and spain cruise , the organisation on this cruise was very poor as was the entertainment , i really dont want to attend a session on how to fold a napkin correctly ! there were ques just about everywhere on ... Read More
Returned today from the france and spain cruise , the organisation on this cruise was very poor as was the entertainment , i really dont want to attend a session on how to fold a napkin correctly ! there were ques just about everywhere on the ship couldn't get a seat alot of the time in the cafe's or promenade which was basically 2 shops ! The duty free shop was closed for our whole trip , though i have to say the food was excellent i really dont have any complaints of food or cleanliness as it was brilliant ! and the staff were fantastically hard working and mostly happy and helpful at all times especially in the strauss dining room food was superb and sameer ross and ervak who were our waiters were fantastic all week very professional at all times and couldn't do enough for us infact they made our cruise bearable ! if you like ques and poor entertainment then i recommend lol the ports were boring we stopped at le harve which was our last stop and it was yet another shopping centre like the last 3 stops but this time all shops were closed well most of them due to it being a bank holiday which they failed to tell us before we booked transport ! excursions were overpriced as was everything else :( Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
First cruise. Really impressed. There was a gastro outbreak on the previous trip which led to delays on boarding due to the captain ordering a deep clean of the ship. While the delay was frustrating I prefer waiting than being ill so as a ... Read More
First cruise. Really impressed. There was a gastro outbreak on the previous trip which led to delays on boarding due to the captain ordering a deep clean of the ship. While the delay was frustrating I prefer waiting than being ill so as a one off I can’t really fault this. The restaurants were great. The main dining room was beautiful, the staff brilliant and the food amazing. The Windjammer restaurant was very nice with great views from all windows and lovely food. I don’t normally like buffets but this was great. Always plenty of choice and I could always get more if I wished due to it being self-service. Only struggled to get a table at breakfast but always managed after a couple of minutes looking. Cleanliness was to a high standard. Our room attendant was a very nice chap who looked after us and left us towel animals to amuse my 8 year old. He deserved his tip. I really am finding it hard to fault this cruise. Even the security staff were friendly and polite. We were treated like royalty from start to finish.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
First time cruise, my wife and I decided to do it this year so booked Adventure Of The Seas for the 14 nights going to Spain, Madeira, Canary islands and Portugal, first impressions of the ship were good, staff were polite and the food was ... Read More
First time cruise, my wife and I decided to do it this year so booked Adventure Of The Seas for the 14 nights going to Spain, Madeira, Canary islands and Portugal, first impressions of the ship were good, staff were polite and the food was tasty and plenty off it, pool deck was nice, hot tubs were hot, gym was great, even the drink prices were reasonable no more than you would expect to pay in a nice hotel, the ports of call were good with plenty of time to look around the only two criticisms I have is the compulsory $12 per day, per person charge that they disguise as a tip I say disguise because the definition of a tip is that it is at you discretion there is no such thing as a compulsory tip if it is compulsory it then has to be called a fee or a charge, I believe I should decide what tip I leave and how much it should be, but for my wife and I the worst thing about this cruise was the cabin, we paid extra for what they call a Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom but it really was below par, rust all over the balcony, balcony table and chairs were rusted, discoloured and pealing, (you couldn't sit on them) the cabin stewardess didn't clean the room that well at all, Mirrors, TV, Surfaces were not cleaned, coffee cup marks still on tables after she had been into clean, bits on the carpet after she had supposedly vacuumed, very disappointing, if I was aloud to be in charge of my own tipping and they sorted the cabin situation out I would definitely go again but until then ill pass. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Just got back from a 12 night cruise around the med. This was our first cruise and having read the reviews (which some were negative) didn't really know what to expect. Check in was quick and simple. Once on board we were straight to ... Read More
Just got back from a 12 night cruise around the med. This was our first cruise and having read the reviews (which some were negative) didn't really know what to expect. Check in was quick and simple. Once on board we were straight to our room which was very clean and comfortable. We chose a balcony, deck 7, room 7530. The room assistant was very good, she kept making us animals out of the towels too. The food was brilliant from both the windjammer and the main dining room. The ship its self was also clean with the cleaners visible everywhere. The service from the staff was second to none, always polite and helpful. I agree with a review further down about the children, however if you choose to travel during school holidays there are going to be children on board, however they should be more supervised by their parents. Entertainment was good, the magician on the last night was amazing. Ports of call were lovely, with things to do near by if you didn't want to venture to far from the ship. The cruise compass left in your room each night told you everything you needed to know about the next day eg time of arrival and departure from ports (this was also repeat by the captain in the morning) also what was happening on the ship the next day. Drinks were not too expensive aboard the ship. If i decided to cruise again i would have no worries about booking RCI. One negative point (this is nothing to do with the staff, this is the passengers on board) if you have a drink or some food away from cafes and bars, take your plate, cup or glass back to where you got it from. If the cleaners had just cleaned the area you left these in they may be there a short while before a cleaner returns to this area They are there to look after you, they are not your slaves. Well done to all the staff on board our cruise, and keep up the good work. Disembarking the ship was half an hour ahead of our selected time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
I realize that everyone had certain expectations from vacation. For those who have been cruising before, it is easy to compare the service, condition of the ship, and amenities. As for myself, I have been on Disney, Princess, Carnival, ... Read More
I realize that everyone had certain expectations from vacation. For those who have been cruising before, it is easy to compare the service, condition of the ship, and amenities. As for myself, I have been on Disney, Princess, Carnival, Celebrity, and Royal Caribbean. After sailing on the Oasis of the Seas on my last cruise, I knew that my next cruise would need to be on a mid-sized ship with less crowds (I also wanted the luxury of a ship that I didn't have to make an appointment for the different activities 3 months ahead of time). I was also looking for a good price on an Eastern Caribbean cruise (I am done with Mexico). As a result, I found the Adventure of the Seas sailing on April 13th out of Miami. After doing the research and reading the reviews on the ship, I had an idea on what to expect. This was my partner's first experience on a cruise and did not know what to expect other than wanting to have a good time. We sailed on the first 7 day cruise after the ship went into dry dock. Yes...the ship is older which especially can be seen in the cabins with a balcony (we had room 7266). The balcony is "closed in" which is unlike the "open" balconies on the newer ships. There were some carpets that were not replaced and some of the curtains and bed covers could also be updated. It clear that during dry dock, they updated the technology in the ship including flat screen TVs in the cabins and video directional signage. From what I understand, they also spent time on the ships engine since it was having problems before going into dry dock. When we arrived at the pier, we quickly made it through port security and checked in. While that went well, we ended up being in line for almost two hours to get onto the ship. Granted, the cruise line advertised that we would be able to board the ship at Noon and we were there at 10:30, but from my experience on other cruises, I was able to board the ship earlier than the advertised time. I do not blame the cruise line but it would have been nice to have the staff give us updates while standing in line. Once we got on the ship, everything else went fine. Our room steward was nice but we did not see a lot of him. He cleaned the room but rarely did anything above and beyond. Our dining waiter and assistant waiter were great and provided us great service. Food was ok in the Windjammer and good in the main dining room (we ate there mostly since we did not like the crowds up in the Windjammer). I have to admit we were disappointed with Giovanni's ... the food was average but the service was not great. It seemed like the staff was overwhelmed and that we kept having to get our waiter's attention). St. Maartin was ok...we went to the Sunset bar to watch the airplanes take off and land. In Puerto Rico, we walked around old San Juan and check out the two forts. In Labadee, we rented jet skis and got massages on the ship. The jet skis were one of the highlights of the trip but the massages were average. In the end, I believe that a trip is what you make of it. We realized that the ship was older. Yes, there were no robes, no chocolate on your pillows, and lacked some of the extras you find on an Oasis class ship (surf rider, etc). Knowing all of this, we had a really nice time. Would I recommend this ship...yes...as long as you know what you were getting (especially if you get a good price). That being said, we would probably be looking for a newer ship on a future cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
* Stateroom: We had two indoor staterooms. One for my wife & I and another for the 3 boys. I would not do an inside stateroom again. I don't like waking up with no natural light. Our stateroom was at the very front of the boat and ... Read More
* Stateroom: We had two indoor staterooms. One for my wife & I and another for the 3 boys. I would not do an inside stateroom again. I don't like waking up with no natural light. Our stateroom was at the very front of the boat and while the boat rocked the entire cruise we didnt feel it anymore because of our location. We knew it was going to be small so no surprise there. * Cleanliness of ship: The ship was clean and in good shape. I saw no "eww" things on the ship and we went everywhere. * Crew: Our stateroom attendant Dion was good. Everyone was nice. Some of the crew were unhappy with their jobs/hours/contract etc but they were all friendly to us. Everything we asked for we received promptly and with a smile. We had three spa treatments and it wasnt any more expensive than back home. Nice treat. I'd recommend * Food/Drink: The three free food places are all we ate. Vivaldi, WindJammer and Promenade. That pizza is like crack -- Good stuff ;). The best part of the main dining room were the soups. It was all good not great. I'm not a foodie so maybe I'm not the best to write this but the seafood was ok and I always expect fresh seafood when I travel down to Carribbean. We did not have a drink package and with the amount of sodas, mixed drinks or beer we had it would not have made sense. * Excursions: We did St Maarten with Capt Bob Cass who we found on Trip Advisor. Highly recommend -- My best meal was the lunch with him. He was great with the boys. One of the boys were not fired up about snorkeling but the scond stop Capt Bob got him in the water and he enjoyed himself. Labadee was kind of a rip-off. EVERYTHING costs. Book the zip line early in the day - we had two at 3PM and by then it was too windy and they closed it. The coaster is fun. Bring $10 to give to attendant to get a second ride. We feared that with two ships there would not be enough shade but that's not the case -- plenty of trees and places to escape the sun. Bring $$, seapass card is not enough. * Ship activities: We did the flash mob and it was our favorite thing. Our boys did the Adventure Ocean club and 1/3 liked it alot and kept going back. Our boys were old enough that I gave them the ability to sign themselves in/out and I think it made it more their choice. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...sums up our March 23-30 cruise experience quite well. Let me preface this by saying as first time cruisers and after talking with many who have sailed on Royal Caribbean numerous times ... Read More
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...sums up our March 23-30 cruise experience quite well. Let me preface this by saying as first time cruisers and after talking with many who have sailed on Royal Caribbean numerous times without a hitch, What happened to us is the exception and not the rule. We flew into San Juan a day early to avoid connection problems (highly recommended) and stayed in a hotel in the Condado section just a few blocks from a gorgeous beach. We had a late lunch at a restaurant called 'Tijuana' and had some of the best Mexican food I've ever tasted, so far so good. Problems began however when we arrived at the terminal at 11:30 Sunday morning to find several hundred people waiting in line and the terminal doors closed. After leaving our luggage in a central holding location outside the terminal to be watched by porters, we located a RCCI employee and were told the ship got into port late and the passengers on board had not yet disembarked. They said we wouldn't be able to board the ship before 4 pm and advised us to get a taxi and find something to do in San Juan until then. Envisioning massive delays at 4 pm when 3000+ people would converge at once we decided to stay and hold our place in line. After about an hour when it became obvious few were leaving they told us they would reimburse us for travel expenses if we brought back receipts. As the line grew and few people took their offer we were given a number to hold our place in line and herded into buses and driven to an air conditioned hotel where we received complimentary drinks and appetizers until the ship was ready. Later that afternoon we were bused back to the terminal to find our worst nightmare; thousands of angry people lined up outside the terminal in the hot sun. At first we were directed to the back of the mile-long line but when we showed them our number '1' tickets we were taken to the front of the line to the dismay of everyone else who hadn't been taken to the hotel or told what was going on and who had been standing there already for hours. Water was scarce and older adults in line were beginning to drop like flies from the heat and ambulances were called. Fights broke out in the angry mob and the situation could best be described as chaotic. There simply weren't enough RCCI staff there to communicate with and handle this many people under the circumstances. Once inside the terminal things moved along quickly as staff did their best to expedite our movement through check-in and customs but I felt terrible looking out my stateroom balcony periodically and seeing people standing outside the terminal late into the night waiting to board. Our luggage didn't arrive until 11 pm but we made the best of it by exploring the ship and dining in the clothes we had on. Over the course of the next three days we were told numerous times that we would sail only to be told that no, due to technical challenges repairing the fixapod (main pushing-style propeller) we still could not leave. Apparently the fixapod bearings were shot and began leaking oil mid-way through the previous cruise causing them to limp into port late at 1.5 knots which is what precipitated the aforementioned pandemonium at the terminal. The propeller needed major repairs and time to complete those repairs but instead of cancelling the cruise and refunding our money they decided to get a crane and call in divers from Miami to remove all four propeller blades and try to sail with the two wing steering propellers only. Unfortunately the propeller bolts could only be removed using a specialized tool that had to be flown in from Houston causing part of the delay and the sheer number of bolts (32) and time-consuming process of removing them resulted in our being stuck in port in San Juan till 11:00 AM Wednesday. For three days our view was overlooking a small noisy airport and industrial park. Our deck smelled of raw sewage and our sleep was interrupted by the sound of forklifts and tanker trucks off-loading human waste 24/7. As the days went by and ports of call to Barbados and St. Maarten were cancelled, more and more people demanded refunds and left with luggage in tow. RCCI started offering individual voucher credits; first $250, the $500 and finally on March 26, they offered a full refund of the cruise fare paid as well as 50% off the cruise fare paid to be used for a future cruise on any RCCI ship within the next year. With RCCI doing the right thing with a generous refund and with the ship finally setting sail on the 26th, the atmosphere on board quickly changed and spirits brightened. The long lines at guest services shortened and the cabin and wait staff in the restaurants seemed relieved to have satisfied customers to serve and some hope of salvaging a portion of what they might normally receive in tips. Hats off to Mercedes (the Cruise Director) and the activities staff who remained positive and energetic throughout. The ice show and the farewell show were great and the trivia contests in the Schooner Bar were a highlight and a great way to meet other guests. The food in the Vivaldi dining room was varied and excellent and the service we received from Veeraj (Mayotte), Jordan (Macedonia) and Sean (Jamaica) was perhaps the best part of our on board experience. We traded e-mail addresses and would like to think we made three new friends. The Windjammer Café offered a nice selection for a quick breakfast or lunch although the food seemed a little bland after eating there so frequently. The staff at the hand-washing stations amused us with their creative encouragement ("washy-washy!) and we appreciate their effort to prevent a norovirus outbreak. While some of the pools were closed on occasion (unavoidable due to e-coli), deck chairs and towels were plentiful if you got there early or came at non-peak times. Our cabin steward Jeremy was courteous and friendly, yet non-intrusive. The cabin was tidy and spacious enough but the cockroach we found in the bathroom was an unpleasant glimpse of the reality of cruise ship entomology and what happens when there are large quantities of food and waste in a warm, moist environment. Yuck! The ship itself had plenty of open areas and activities to meet the needs of the extraverts and a multitude of little niche areas (library, etc.) for introverts like me to get way from the crowds and curl up with a good book. As for the ports of call, tropical St. Lucia was absolutely beautiful. We booked our own tour with Spencer Ambrose who served us an authentic creole-style lunch in a little restaurant of a friend and showed us all the sights culminating in a speedboat ride to a semi-private beach right between the Pitons. Awesome! One Caveat, the bus ride through the hairpin mountain curves isn't for the faint of heart and make sure you tell them when the boat leaves because traffic can be pretty slow moving on the way back the ship. Antigua, while populated with gorgeous white sand beaches, seemed fairly poverty-stricken. St. Croix had a beach to the left of the pier and a preponderance of souvenir shops to the right for those who didn't want to book an excursion. There wasn't much to pick from in terms of restaurants however. Disembarkation went as smooth as could be expected; they have a pretty good system of staggering people based on excursions and flight times to avoid the kinds of disasters we had during embarkation. The line was fairly long but moved quickly and there was also the option of tipping a porter to take you through the express line if time was a factor. One tip for those planning an excursion in San Juan prior to your flight leaving...Don't! Get to the airport to check in plenty early or you risk being the last people trying to get seat assignments on a flight that is overbooked! This is not a good way to end a vacation so learn from my mistake. All things considered, it was a good cruise experience. Staff and guests alike made the best of a bad situation and while certain aspects could have certainly been handled better I would do it again but perhaps on one of the newer ships. The Adventure of the Seas is a grand old lady long overdue for the face-lift and a tune-up she's now getting in dry dock. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
This was the first cruise my husband and I had ever taken. We were hooked from day one. This was also our first vacation without any of our 4 children with us (we've been married 29 years.) Hard to believe we never left our children ... Read More
This was the first cruise my husband and I had ever taken. We were hooked from day one. This was also our first vacation without any of our 4 children with us (we've been married 29 years.) Hard to believe we never left our children behind. Anyway, to say this was the best vacation ever is an understatement. Everyone couldn't have been nicer. From our waiters who remembered who we were every night and had our drinks waiting for us on our table. Our room steward who kept our room immaculate. The shows were outstanding. Our excursions were awesome. We swam with the stingrays in Antigua. A first for me. As I'm somewhat of a chicken. We met some really nice people at dinner who have become good friends. We are cruising with them again in Feb 2015. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
This was our virgin cruise & we both loved it. We had this preconceived notion that in November we’d be surrounded by fossils(apologies we’re close to 50 ourselves) & were thrilled at San Juan port to discover there was a huge ... Read More
This was our virgin cruise & we both loved it. We had this preconceived notion that in November we’d be surrounded by fossils(apologies we’re close to 50 ourselves) & were thrilled at San Juan port to discover there was a huge spread of ages . I was impressed with how swiftly we got on board as the queues when we arrived looked daunting. We had walked from the Sheraton Hotel & spotted a long human chain some way off. The Sheraton near the Conference centre was a nice ten minute trot from the ship & half a dozen taxis tried in vain to take us the very walkable distance. Our stateroom, 8554, was great, in the middle of the ship, we felt very little movement & slept like hibernating bears. We had everything we needed & far more space than we expected. The “Adventure” is a little tired in parts though it has a wonderful grandness & dignity about it plus a revamp is on the way. Dining was superlative, we loved the all day food in the Windjammer & had some memorable meals in the formal Mozart. The incredible ice show & Motown in the Lyric theatre were top class & we’d gladly have paid for the privilege. Super staff made it a mighty memorable first dip in the water. Having a balcony was a major plus, great entertainment in itself plus so handy for a relaxing drink & drying clothes too. Our best shore excursion was a Segway tour in St.Lucia which was fab fun & good value. Clinton our Stateroom Attendant was wonderful & as a local, shared great knowledge of the Caribbean. Our waiters Jesus & Tiger were also top class. Getting off the ship was probably the only negative from our perspective, we had asked to leave at 8.30 but didn’t escape until close to an hour later. Thanks Royal C for a wonderful week.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
This is our first cruise so I write this with the caveat that we have no experience to base this on other than this cruise. We decided to go with Royal Caribbean as they seemed to address the family market well. Not knowing if we would ... Read More
This is our first cruise so I write this with the caveat that we have no experience to base this on other than this cruise. We decided to go with Royal Caribbean as they seemed to address the family market well. Not knowing if we would like cruising we chose to book with a guaranteed inside cabin. Before you read on I want to say that we had a fantastic cruise experience and all the staff and the dining were exceptional despite the cruise being disrupted by very bad weather. Adventure On The Seas : The Cruise Travelling at the end of October from the UK along the coast of France and down the Atlantic side of Spain across the Bay of Biscay was always going to be a bit of gamble - and we naturally hit the first big storm of the year! The ship left Southampton on time (which at the time we thought we might end up staying in port) and sailed across the channel to Cherbourg in a gale. There was a fair bit of movement in the ship but the ship took the weather well - although most of the water in the pools were emptied with spectacular 12 foot waves of pool water being ejected at each of the pool! As such and due to restrictions where you can refill pools at sea, the main pools had no water for several days but the jacuzzis were open which was fine given the weather. Anchoring off the coast of France we stayed at sea for an extra day postponing our first port of call a day. Our stop in Bilbao was cancelled due to a storm in the Bay of Biscay and due to the change in dates arriving at the ports of Vigo and Gijon meant we arrived on public holidays and everything was closed. Another storm then forced a further change in plans that put Bilbao back on the ports of call which was well received by everyone as this was the highlight of the cruise. Finally industrial action at the French ports meant we could no longer call at the port of Le Havre and the captain made the decision to head back to the channel to avoid a new storm threatening a safe passage back. The transit back across the Bay of Biscay was very rough and the Ice Show planned for that evening was moved to the following night - good call in my opinion. Dining: Totally awesome. We chose My Time dining which worked well for us. We pre-booked our first days evening dinner with the intention that we would alternate between the dining room and the WindJammer. Since my wife uses a wheelchair the dining room was much easier and as such we ended up choosing the same time each night at the same table. We found the WindJammer difficult with the wheelchair as it was difficult to find a seat that was easily accessible and often by the time we got there someone else had beaten us to it. Also I had to select food for my wife as this was also difficult in a chair. Often the serving staff would find a seat for you if they noticed you looking or if you asked. This may have been exacerbated by having a full ship and 800 children. In both restaurants the food was varied and excellent. Excursions: Booking excursions that would take a wheelchair was painful than it needed to be as we had to email two separate parts with RCI; one to organise getting on board and the second to organise the excursions. We had to fill in two different forms with virtually the same information and then had to wait over a week for a reply as to which excursions could accommodate a wheelchair. We then had to complete another form which we had to return by the next day at the latest. Although we started this process a month ahead of the cruise, in future we'll sort this at least 6 weeks in advance. The excursions are expensive - having said that I've never been on any package holiday where they are cheap either. The ship did run a shuttle bus at each port, but the local taxis would have been much cheaper for us. We took 2 excursions, both were good, but could have been longer - I guess that's the nature of cruising, you really only get a taster of each port. The guides were excellent and given our ever changing schedule was a very safe option to ensure we were back on board in time (some people did get left behind!!). Cherbourg: We took an excursion to the D-Day beaches. The tour was good, the drive to the beaches takes about an hour. Could have spent alot more time here but the all aboard time was quite early as we needed to depart ahead of the weather. This would be difficult to do on your own. Vigo: We went ashore and picked up a local sightseeing tour that tooks us all around the town for around an hour (total 22 euro). Nice town very pretty with lots to see if you are good walkers. Gijon: We didn't go ashore as it was a holiday and all the shops were shut, plus the weather was miserable. Shuttle bus was $15 each for a 40min drive to the town. Bilbao: We took an excursion round the town and into the Guggenheim. The tour guides were excellent and the museum was fantastic. You could do this yourself, shuttle bus was $10 each and a taxi was $28. Town was quite compact so easily walkable. Entertainment: A mixed bag here. The teens club didn't catered well for our 16 year old son but the weather didn't help as the outside space was closed for a fair amount of the time - that makes them a tough crowd to please - which is no fault of the cruise. The evening shows were quite short (1 hr) and ranged from good to really excellent. The Ice Show and the Motown show were exceptional. The cinema is tiny and on a rough sea day it was always full. My only complaint - which is levelled at the other people on our cruise - is that when the show ends it is almost impossible to get a lift if you are in a wheelchair. One evening we waited for a lift and twice in a row before we could get in the people behind us pushed in front and filled the lift. We had no option but to use the lift - the stairs to the next level were only about as high as your domestic staircase. I was staggered at how inconsiderate and rude people could be. The Crew: The crew were excellent, the decisions made by Captain Henrik were good, even though this changed our itinerary considerably. Everyone I spoke to whilst a little disappointed respected the decisions made. We were kept well informed and the Captain and the crew managed the situation with good humour. Cuddy, Drew and Captain Henrik were very funny and all the broadcasts were in good humour and great to watch / listen to. Extras: Drinks and the drinks packages are expensive - you could spend a fortune here. Because we left from the UK, RCI put kettles in the cabins with tea bags but no coffee, when I asked about this they said that they were learning the UK market and may put coffee sachets in future. We bought some juice drinks and a soft drinks package each before we joined the ship. In hindsight we wouldn't get the juice drinks again as these were available in the restaurants free anyway (not freshly squeezed) nor would we have soft drinks for my wife and I - tea and coffee was readily available. We chose not to have a alcoholic package - these were $$$ - instead we bought wine by the bottle at the table (approx. $30 for the wine of the day) - we're not big drinkers and a bottle lasted two nights. Tips: The staff work very hard, their wages are basic and they rely on the tips topping it up. This is a US cruise ship not a UK one - US rules apply. We factored tips as part of our cruise costs - the cruise was very competitively priced so it figures that they are expecting to make the revenue from onboard purchases and excursions. Our housekeeper was telling us how they had looked after a party fully occupying 6 cabins (24 people). At the end of the cruise they would expect around $100 per cabin but the party reclaimed all their tips and left $50! Don't reclaim your tips that's a pretty low thing to do. We prepaid and left some extra - the prepay is part of our cost, the extra is the tip IMHO.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Adventure of the seas Review - France and Spain 27oct - 04nov 2013 Ports of call: Southampton - Cherbourg - Vigo - Gijon - Bilbao -Southampton Embarkation: Smooth and very easy at the So’ton City terminal. Loyalty lanes were clearly ... Read More
Adventure of the seas Review - France and Spain 27oct - 04nov 2013 Ports of call: Southampton - Cherbourg - Vigo - Gijon - Bilbao -Southampton Embarkation: Smooth and very easy at the So’ton City terminal. Loyalty lanes were clearly labelled and took advantage of that as a crown and anchor member, saving up to 20 minutes of queuing. Once onboard by 1pm we headed to the windjammer for our first meal. Very busy as expected. By 2pm the cabins were ready. Our interior stateroom 6377 was roomier than expected and the stateroom attendant looked after our room extremely well throughout the cruise. It was a windy departure and captain Sorensen had adjusted the itinerary to ensure a smooth sailing as much as he could amid storms and low pressure systems developing in the atlantic ocean that were moving east, creating rough conditions in the sea. I liked the insightful updates in TV channel 27 between the captain and the cruise director informing everyone about the weather and showing their thinking on a daily basis. Portofino was excellent and we went twice. The second time we went with a lovely couple we met in dining room table #464. The risotto was great and the T-bone steak in particular was succulent, not to mention the tiramisu. Service was exceptional. Some of the servers were one of the most experienced with RCI. The Ice show and quest show were great. My girlfriend and I participated in a flashmob dance which was fun and took place at Studio B just before the Quest show; it was a nice touch to receive a certificate from the entertainment staff for our dedication to have fun during our rehearsals on sea days. Also attended the ballroom dance classes with the experienced couple “Val and Vira” and zumba fitness lesson in Jesters Disco during the sea days. It was great to get involved. Had nearly forgotten it was Halloween during our cruise but the Monster bash in the Royal Promenade was a lot of fun and we were surprised how many people dressed up. There was definitely a great atmosphere that evening. Took advantage of the martini happy hour for 6.00 USD each, Brilliantly served and by far excellent value for money when compared to the London standard; Similar story with the cocktails. For 8 dollars you could get a decent cocktail and for spirits and mixers served on double measure would equate to half price compared to London. My girlfriend was really happy she could keep the glasses as well. We hope RCI will continue doing it! We attended the two crown and anchor events. The captain was very cheerful speaking to us about his experience, working as a captain and shared his excitement about working for the company. Julio Gomez, our cruise sales manager made us feel very welcome and treated us as truly loyal passengers. It certainly made me feel at home. Two thirds of the cruise passengers were first time cruisers with Royal, of which many have not cruised ever before. Enough said, RCI is doing well in attracting not only the loyal, but new people onboard. One of the reasons I booked the cruise besides the ship, of which I will write about in the next paragraph, was the itinerary. At Vigo, we booked the excursion to Santiago de Compostela; a very notorious city for its cathedral and renowned for its Pilgrimage trail. At Gijon, we booked for Oviedo, the capital of the principality of Asturias, very beautiful and with plenty of local traditions such as the chorizo and its cider. At Bilbao, we only docked until 1:30pm, which was our new early departure time back to Southampton. Despite the short time we booked an excursion the previous night but we managed to oversleep the following morning! We were concerned about the money we had paid (67USD each) but after visiting the shore excursions desk in Deck 5 at 6pm, they were understanding and we were delighted to get a full refund.... which bought me a sale price Citizen watch later that evening ;) The departure time change was due to the weather coming into Bay of Biscay the next day so we wanted to make sure not to get caught in it although that evening it got very rough with up to 8m waves! But it was safe and an interesting experience. I must admit I could not sleep very well that night but on the flipside my tolearance to rougher weather is greater. The Ship: This is for me between 60 and 75% of my cruise holiday and with Royal Caribbean I am certainly not too choosy about which ship to go for because I trust all ships are kept to a high standard (It only takes 5 minutes or so to pay attention to the video of Royal in the interactive channel in your stateroom to appreciate that). The only variable would be the size and the number of amenities. Service is what counts followed by food quality and entertainment, in that order. I am pleased to share that the crew did a fantastic job. However, I feel shows in the theatre have degraded a bit and it’s lacking preparation, colourful stages and costumes (Serenade on December 2012 and Brilliance December 2010 was much better). Guests were ok. Bingo we only played on the jackpot which was a whopping 3900USD, the Lyric theatre was full of people, but I do feel the cartons are overpriced!! Jenny and Bjorn made the Bingo experience more fun. Also it was nice to have giveaways in between games. This is definitely a good idea! The Casino staff was wonderful, the tournaments on sea days are a good choice if you don’t want to spend too much but still have a laugh and who knows, you could win something, like I did with a 2nd place in Blackjack, taking 100USD. I also used the gym which was big enough with a Jacuzzi in the centre. Great layout, maybe the machines are a bit outdated but seeing as this vessel will undergo a revitalisation it might just get the treat, as well as many other additions and upgrades just before her second round at Southampton next year. Another spectacular cruise packed with unforgettable memories. Overall I am very satisfied and looking forward to my next cruise holiday with Royal Caribbean International. In fact, knowing that Adventure is coming next spring to Southampton I would sail on her again. But I might consider Independence of the seas this time if not both. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Day 1 Really smoothly, parked car in carpark and van came along and took our luggage to the ship. We took our hand luggage and suit carriers on board. This was not a problem, other than the fact we decided to tour the entire ship and had ... Read More
Day 1 Really smoothly, parked car in carpark and van came along and took our luggage to the ship. We took our hand luggage and suit carriers on board. This was not a problem, other than the fact we decided to tour the entire ship and had to carry it around with us, so the least amount of hand luggage you can take the better. We got into our cabin by 2pm and I was unpacked and back on deck by the time we departed at 4pm which was fab. There are only a few levels you can view the outside from, deck 4, 11, 12, 13 mainly. Our boy of 12 was on the sports deck, deck 13 and the arcade deck 12 pretty much the entire time we were waiting, so not a bad place to wait. Most of the bars are open so you can purchase or use your drinks packages as soon as you get on. There is also food available in the Windjammer which is plentiful and very fresh. Once you check in and give your passports they give you your seapass card which states whether you have a drinks package etc. and if you are 6pm or 8.30pm dining, will state your table number and dining room too - so once you get on the ship you can go and take a look as to where you will be seated. If you are not happy, you can go to customer services deck 5 and advise them you would like to change. Staterooms We were in an interior cabin, lots of storage space to be fair, for a small room. However, we had a 12 and 14 year old with us and it was just too cramped. The pullman beds are over the main bed so you have to scooch off the end of the bed, when you wake up you have not concept of time due to the cabin being in pitch darkness always without lights turned on. The best thing to do is pull the curtains across and leave the light on in the bathroom, that way, if anybody gets up in the night they can pull the curtains across and use the light from the bathroom to guide the way. It was hard for our children to get off their beds without waking us, so if you have early rising children do not expect a lie in !! You will have to set the alarm if you want to get up at a certain time as the darkness makes you sleep SO well and you have no concept of morning. We will be having a balcony cabin next year purely due to size and the fact I would like to sit on the balcony and read my book if my family are sleeping in, as opposed to wandering around the ship etc. Our stateroom Cyrus was amazing, he was so attentative and knew our names by the end of the first day, and anything we wanted was never too much trouble. Asked for more hangers, had them in 5 minutes, he took our washing and returned the next day. When we purchased duty free, they took it upon entry onto the ship and left it in your room the night before you departed in Southampton. Dining The main dining rooms are fantastic. Staff were fantastic, food amazing, They always had a great selection and a basic selection for those who were picky. If you did not like anything in particular they would always try to accommodate for all tastes even if not on the menu. My son ate from the children's menu, but being 12 they always gave him bigger portions which was great. The drinks waiter is great and by the 2nd night knew our drinks without asking. We requested a table by the window on numerous nights and turned up at different times even though we were my time dining at 7.30 and they always accommodated us to the best of their ability. On formal nights if you want your photos taken, get down earlier as the photographer is outside the restaurant and there is normally a queue so best to get their a bit earlier. The Windjammer restaurant is fab, so much choice and so fresh. We always found something to eat, normally too much. They have water, still lemonade, coffee/tea available complimentary to all at all settings, with orange and apple juice for breakfast. So, you do not have to pay for drinks if you don't want too. The staff are so quick, helpful and friendly, especially on entry. No wishy washy no yummy yummy was our favourite saying, as in if we did not use the hand sanitizer we could not go in .... it made most people giggle. Entertainment Lots for everybody. The main theatre was at 7pm and 9pm so fitted around most people. Dancing and music most nights but we did have Bobby Davro, Juggler, Magician on other nights too. As long as you got in their 15 minutes before you would have a choice of seats on the lower level, after that it got a bit busier. Waiters came round asking if you wanted drinks throughout the show which was nice. The Imperial lounge had live music and quizzes, Schooner bar a mix of both and other bars music etc. you will be given a daily compass in your stateroom every evening giving you a schedule of what is going on and where throughout the ship the following day, as well as where we are going to be, sunrise and sunset times etc. really helpful and our bible throughout the cruise. They also give you a compass for the children outlining what they have going on the next day. Children's Entertainment They are in groups and ours were in 12-14 - Optics which is the club on deck 12 hold different scheduled events/ groups/entertainment etc. for each age group and it is all detailed in their compass each night. You must register them the first or second day and then they can come and go as they please, other than the odd thing like wall climbing and skating if 12 or under. Our kids LOVED IT all. Excursions We did a couple via the ship which were great, but with some google searching before we went I knew which ports we were able to do our own thing at etc. The ship excursions do appear more expensive than online excursions you can book, but the ship promises not to leave if their excursions do not get back on time, but if you go with others and they are not back then they will not wait for you. But to be fair, if you plan well and are back in time, you will not have a problem. Worth some investigation before you go. Am happy to give information on each port if you want it, so just ask. Sunbeds If you wanted a particular spot which some did, you would have to get up and save the bed, no later than 8 really. However, because the ship is always moving you could never be sure where the sun was going to be the next day, so we found the top deck the best place to go as you pretty much always had the sun. However, it can get windy at sea so if you don't like the wind, you are better of sourcing your favourite area on deck 11 and saving it. On the days when you are in port there is no need to save beds as most people go to shore, if you come back to the boat relatively early then you will always get a bed. Sunbeds can be a bit cramped together, but if you choose beds on the end you can always move them about, plus there is nothing stopping you taking a bed or two out and stacking them at the side to give you more room. You are unable to save beds and on busy at sea days the pool attendant would come along and remove your towels if you were not on them for half an hour, not so much during the day, but first thing in the morning. So on those days, well the one day we did get up early for, I sat on the beds until my hubby came down and we took turns in getting brekkie. You can bring it back to the bed so no problem. You can hire two towels per seapass and they charge you if you do not return them, however, we ended up with 8 towels at the end because we changed them at the end of every day, and because they tell you to put the towels in the bin without counting them, we obviously ended up with too many, so obviously not too strict on it. Drinks We got the Premium package which cost the two of us '1000 for the 2 weeks - seemed like a lot of money but we did it because we did not know how much drinks would be etc. and could not be bothered with the hassle. We definitely got our money's worth, but we did have a couple of beers before going up to the room to get ready, 2-3 at dinner and then 4-5 during the evening - even on port days - so we made the most of it. We are both the first to admit thought that even when we did not want or fancy a drink we would order one because we could. So to be fair, we probably would not do it again but if you like a drink then it is definitely worth it. We got the soda packages for our children, all fizzy nothing still, and they can get as many as they want, either in the cup they give them or a normal cup, they MUST and you MUST always show your card though and if you go up and get two drinks you must take the two cards as they will only serve ONE drink per card. My daughter drank water most of the time which all bars give for nothing and after the first couple of days they put chilled ice water dispensers on the end of the bars by the pools so we all just went up and got water, which is free, so if that is what you drink during the day, great. There is also a tea and coffee point on the pool deck which is complimentary during the day (I did not like the coffee but it was OK). A glass of Zinfandel was $8 and went up to '15-$20 for a nice Chardonnay etc. bottles started at approx. $36. Beers started from $5.50 and they served all good bottle beers bud, becks, coors, coroner, fosters etc. they also did draft becks etc. they went up to approx. $8 a bottle, and the Duck & Dog sold unusual beers and Guiness etc. All spirits are proper named Smirnoff, Blue Sapphire etc. a spirit and soft was approx. $7 - can't be sure as I did not pay for them. Cocktails including cocktail of the day started from $7.50 but no more than $10 for a decent one. Soft drinks were approx. $3. Shops Duty free on board is OK but not as cheap as the shops in Gibraltar. Not many basic essentials so if you forget stuff it might be better to wait until you get to the first port. Your room attendant will normally be able to advise you where the shops and wifi cafes are, if not customer services/reception will. Wifi Really expensive so not worth it, however during the cruise there was free wifi for 2 hours, however, you have to create a logon name and password for the RCI website so do this when you get on board so that when they offer the wifi you can get online on your ipad etc. everybody crowded into the computer room when they heard about the free wifi and there were no computers left. Tips We did pre paid but did leave additional for our room attendant etc. The room attendant leaves envelopes in your room on your last day and you can leave what you want accordingly. Promenade Cafe This serves food pretty much 24 hours, tea/coffee, water, pizza, croissants plain or filled, pizza, baguettes, muffins, cakes etc. Sailing Conditions The Bay of Biscay can be temperamental, the weather is not always sunny so the first day out and last day home can be a bit drab, it can also be a bit choppy, but like me do not think 'oh my god I am meant to be on a med cruise what is going on', because the next day it was gorgeous. You can feel the ship moving but only very slightly, normally when laying on sunbeds and not all the time, but if anybody tells you that you can NOT feel it at all, they are lying. We followed a storm into France which was interesting and very choppy, but I found it so funny as everybody looked drunk. If you do suffer from sea sickness the medical room on deck 2 and reception will give you tablets. Leaving the Ship The ship advises you what deck to go to shore from, and what time you are able to leave the ship and be back on board for, so you do not have to worry. On the day of departure going home, you can opt to leave of your own accord and take your own bags with you but this is between 6am and 7am, however, if not they will give you numbered tags for you cases and you will be allocated a time to leave the ship, no later than 9am though and you have to be out of your room by 8am. You can change your departure time if it does not suit you, you go to reception and ask for different numbered tags. You pack your luggage, tag it up and leave it outside your room by 11pm, your room attendant will then take it away for you. Therefore, you must remember to leave a hand luggage bag and the bits you will be wearing and toiletries etc. for the morning. I think that is about it and I think I have gone on long enough, if you would like to know anything else specific just ask. We had a fantastic time and have only been back 6 days but have booked to go on the Independence next year already. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
My Wife, 9 year daughter and I have just returned from our first cruise (2 weeks around the Western Med) and in general we all had a great time. Sailing from Southampton is very easy and stress free (from our experiences the exact ... Read More
My Wife, 9 year daughter and I have just returned from our first cruise (2 weeks around the Western Med) and in general we all had a great time. Sailing from Southampton is very easy and stress free (from our experiences the exact opposite to flying). The boarding process is quick and efficient and we were on the ship relaxing with a drink in one of the bars within an hour of arriving at the port. We were amazed at the size of the ship and the facilities (all excellent) it had on board. There were various shops, swimming pools, hot tubs, solarium, gym,secluded children's area complete with it's own pool/s, screening room, library, internet cafe (WiFi was expensive so not many people used it which was a shame),theatre, ice skating ring, crazy golf, basketball court and arcade. We were also surprised and relieved to find that the ship was very spacious meaning that you can find plenty of quiet and peaceful areas if you wanted to. There is an extensive choice of restaurants and bars (prices quite reasonable)to choose from and these cater of all tastes. The quality and variety of the food in particular was superb and we would find it very hard to pick fault with any of it. The Windjammer was our favourite place to eat as it was very informal which suited us. There is also the option to eat evening meals at one of the main restaurants which was a lot more formal which many people liked with the food again being of a very high quality. In all instances the level of service is excellent. We had an inside state room which prior to sailing has caused us some concerned. Our fears soon disappeared, it was small but had everything you needed. The bed/s were very comfy and the air conditioning worked properly meaning that we all slept soundly. The shower was also more than adequate (I am 6' 4" and 20 stone so if I can use it without a problem anybody can). Deck 10 where we were was also very quiet and peaceful (our stateroom attendant Fernando deserves a special mention as he kept it very clean and tidy. He was also very pleasant and helpful). The entertainment was generally very good and there was lots to see and do for all. In the daytime there was a full activities programme to suit all ages. At night there was a show/s in the main theatre as well as entertainment in the various lounges and bars on the ship. The port days were exciting, waking up in a new destination is something we really enjoyed. We stopped at Malaga (very nice), Cannes (nice in parts), Barcelona (fantastic), Palma (we spent the day at Palma Nova beach which is nearby and very good), Valencia (very nice), Catagena (hidden gem with a great Roman Theatre), Lisbon (very good with a fantastic suspension bridge) and Vigo (nice). We would note that we did not go on any excursions as they were very expensive. At some of the ports shuttle buses were provided at a charge (RCI apparently made no money from these as the Port Agent arranged), these were expensive ($10 or $15 dollar) for what they were and if we went again, certainly at Malaga we would either walk or get a taxi into town as it wasn't actually very far. One of the hot topics of debate for most cruises is that of gratuities. We paid ours upfront but some people choose to cancel this when on-board, paying tips as they went along (apparently). We would note that the American culture is very different to ours in the UK and a number of staff receive very little basic pay meaning that gratuities make up a lot of their wages. All in all this was a very positive experience for us and we would highly recommend cruising with Royal Caribbean. We will certainly go on another one in the not so distance future and are already considering our options for next year.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
Having spent hours scouring Cruise Critic for tips & hints prior to our first cruise, heres our post cruise contribution no apologies for the length as Ive tried to cover everything Id want to know as a cruise newbie! Embarkation ... Read More
Having spent hours scouring Cruise Critic for tips & hints prior to our first cruise, heres our post cruise contribution no apologies for the length as Ive tried to cover everything Id want to know as a cruise newbie! Embarkation (Southampton) The whole process was quick, painless & well-rehearsed. Arrived at ABP at 1030 hrs and were directed where to park. Our suitcases were loaded into a van right by the car and we then walked the short distance to the terminal. Here we checked in and were given our sea passes, through passport control, hand luggage x-rayed and then onto the ship  all very slick and so much easier than flying! (We took too much hand luggage  you really dont need to!) By 11.30 hrs we were in the Windjammer on Deck 11 having lunch, first drink in hand! We then took the opportunity to look round the ship and get our bearings before the announcement at 13.45 hrs that all rooms were ready  15 mins ahead of schedule. Our suitcases arrived at 16.25 hrs which we were really impressed with. Muster Drill Mandatory muster drill was at 15.45 hrs the bar staff on deck were encouraging people to proceed to designated stations well ahead of the alarm, so it didnt feel very realistic to us. I guess the main point was ensuring people knew where they had to go  just in case. Once there, our names were checked off and the crew demonstrated how to put on a life jacket. All quite painless, but of course there were some stragglers we had to wait for before being dismissed. Sail away was at 16.45 hrs amidst a sounding of horns with P&Os Arcadia! Adventure of the Seas What a fabulous ship! We can quite understand why some people fall in love with her and come back time after time. She was the perfect size  big enough to have plenty of amenities but compact enough to get round easily. She was spotlessly clean and kept in very good condition wear`n tear was certainly not an issue to us. When she goes into dry dock next year for 10 days theyre spending $50million on refurb! (Captains Corner talk was very interesting!) Rooms We had 2 inside cabins (children 18 & 15) on Deck 9 which were surprisingly spacious. Loads of cupboard space and no need for over-the-door pocket toiletry holders! Magnets were a good idea  we wrote out meal & excursions times and stuck them to the wall for the kids so they always knew when to be ready. Downside was not having any indication of daylight  yes a TV channel had a camera of the front of the ship, but it alternated with a map of the cruise, so not really an option to have that on all night. Turn down service was good each evening and it was great to have a fresh ice bucket twice daily. There were 2 days where they offered a bag of laundry for $25  we didnt use this, but would consider in future and take less clothes! The attendants were great  especially Philip who waited until 12.30 pm each day to clean our childrens room  giving our son to recover from the long nights! Towel animals are done every other night. Pool Towels We signed them out on Day 1, then swapped them at the end of each day  easier than swiping in and out all the time  and turned them in on the last day. Dining Breakfast We tried the MDR once for a la carte and once for express buffet (on sea days) but we preferred the Windjammer and always headed to the back of the ship where it was less busy and had a good view. If youre on the drinks package, start the day with a Mimosa or Bellini! Look out for the Chocolate Breakfast  check the MDR menus before going to bed! Lunch  Windjammer had excellent choice and we never failed to get a table. Taking food out (eg to pool decks or rooms) was never an issue. On sea days there were sometimes BBQs by the main pool, or food on the Promenade deck  although not well advertised in advance. Dinner - We booked My Time Dining on the advice of our Travel Agent. On hindsight, fixed late dining would have suited us better. We booked the Main Dining Room for the whole holiday on the first day and they tried to put us with the same wait staff each night. Timings were generally geared to the two main seatings  the latest we could get was 18.15 or 20.15  but they would hold the table for 45 mins from the earliest slot eg 17.45 until 18.30 hrs. Our waiters Rayland & Stacian were superb as was our drinks waiter Rony  we ll never forget them! Rony brought us a different Shooter of the day each night and also made the Oreo Cookie Milkshake for our daughter  both things we d seen on this forum but were not advertised on board. Ask and they will oblige! Tip - pre book a MTD time for the first night  it was exceptionally busy and all the late slots in the MDR had gone so enjoying sail away was cut short. 24 hrs- Caf Promenade is the place for tea, coffee, hot chocolate, water and pizza, sandwiches, cakes & cookies. Ham & cheese croissants became a late night staple! We visited here prior to each trip to fill our water bottles (use glasses to fill as not allowed to fill straight from machine). Bars Loved the different ambiance of them all  Duck & Dog British Pub, Sophistication of Champagne Bar, Jesters Nightclub (best place to get served promptly at 22.00 hrs!), Sports Bar, Blue Moon lounge, Crows Nest, Imperial Lounge, Pool Bars, Schooner bars nautical theme, casino bar truly something for everyone! Drinks Package After much deliberation we took the plunge and booked the Ultimate Package. Did we get our monies worth? Yes! Did it encourage us to drink more than we might have done? Yes! Did it encourage us to try new things? Yes! Would we do it again? Maybe! We have a philosophy of work hard, play hard but this isnt good for our health!! Average day for me was as follows: Bellini with breakfast, mid morning Cocktail of day, wine at lunch, mid afternoon drink, pre-dinner drink, 2 x wine with dinner, shooter , couple of nightcaps. With drinks averaging $8 (advertised prices included gratuities), its easy to get your moneys worth at this level  and with steady drinking we were never drunk or hungover! Hubby got additional use out of his package too We never experienced poor service due to having the package we get the impression it was very common on this trip. Without the package, there are opportunities for free drinks eg Captains cocktail party & Art Auctions! Murder Mystery This was only really worth the money it if you havent booked the drinks package as the wine & champagne was flowing! We expected more Agatha Christie but this was quite slap stick. Good night but wouldnt do it again. Meet n Mingle Unfortunately there was a mix up and not everyone got invitations for Day 2. They put on another one on Day 5 but as a result we didnt get to meet everyone sadly. Non alcoholic drink on arrival, canaps and a raffle nice touch by RCI. Staff The biggest asset! They were all so friendly, happy and eager to please! We gave additional cash gratuities to some and they looked genuinely shocked! There was no hint of expectation at all. It was really nice that they called us by name too! Shows We were disappointed with the production shows wed expected west end type shows, not ships own offerings. Abba tribute band was good, as were the comedians, but its a shame there were only 2 of these, and both in the first few days. Love and Marriage and the Quest were both entertaining. (Billed as recommended for adults but too many youngsters in there). Ice show was good but not quite as good as our expectations! 18-25s We were concerned about activities (or lack of) for our 18 year old son. The first couple of nights they did organised Meet `n Mingle sessions for this age group in Jesters nightclub. After that they met up and did their own thing  we hardly saw him all holiday! 15  17s Our daughter went to Optrix teen club on the first night and made some good friends  again we hardly saw her! We liked the 1am curfew, but they found ways round it by going to each others rooms! We never had any concerns about where she was or who she was with they all seemed sensible teens and it was a safe and secure environment - the security staff were prominent and really nice. We took cheap PAYG phones for them to text us to keep in touch signal was a bit hit and miss though. Leaving post it notes for each other worked the best. Internet We didnt bother whilst on board as it was very expensive. 1.99 per day with O2 when ashore was plenty for us to check emails, use the internet etc. Trips We opted for RCIs own trips for the most part which were very well organised turn up at Lyric Theatre, collect a sticker and take a seat until your tour is called. Gibraltar Walking Tour  good trip with prebooked cable car tickets, top of the rock, apes, St Michaels cave & siege tunnels. We opted to stay in Gib for shopping and make our own way back to the ship which was very easy. Cannes  booking a tour for this stop was worthwhile due to the tendering process  we were off the ship at 08.15 whereas others we spoke to without prebooked trips had to wait until the afternoon. Tour itself was a bit of a route march in the heat and not as good as Gib. Rome on your own Train  45 min air conditioned ride to Rome was a good choice. We got the metro to the Colosseum but opted not to go in (long queues even by the Forum, too hot and time pressured), did the Trevi fountain, Pantheon, Castle St Angelo and then had prebooked Vatican tickets for 13.00 hrs. Exit the Vatican at the right hand door from the Sistine Chapel (group exit!) and you can get straight into St Peters without queuing separately. Pisa  great trip with tower tickets included. Would have liked to have spent longer there though! Genoa  did our own thing. Easy to walk off ship and there is a city bus tour. Malaga tapas tour  the best trip we did but probably due to the food and wine!! Lisbon city tour  a lot of `on the bus, off the bus but we did see quite a bit. With hindsight the city bus would probably have been just as good and cheaper. Dress The 3 formal nights were great  especially the first one with free champagne at the Captains cocktail party on the promenade! Also a chance for a photo with the Captain. It was great to see so many people dressed up and really didnt matter that half the ship was in shorts and t-shirts! It really is a case of each to their own and you fit in no matter what you wear! Disappointment for us was only one smart casual night  and even then the Cruise Compass published it incorrectly as casual! Smart jeans and a top is fine in the MDR on casual nights. Photo Package We pre-purchased on line and it was worth every penny as we came away with 120 photos and a CD individual photos were $20 to buy! Photographers were friendly and never pushy. View your photos every day or two and they store them for you behind the counter ready for collection on the last night. We never had to prove we had the package again, all well organised. Spending Limit for Kids We asked Guest Relations to place a limit on our childrens Sea Passes  i.e. we authorised a set limit for the first week, then increased it for the second week. This worked really well and we could also view all their transactions on our TV screen! No problem with our 18 year old drinking alcohol as sailing out of the UK. Sunbeds On sea days these were at a premium and generally were taken by 09.30. We did see staff put stickers on chairs to monitor the 30 minute rule. The sides of Deck 4 and the Helipad were favourites for some quiet space! Peek-a-Boo bridge on Deck 4 is also worth a look. Behind Scenes Tour This was available for 15 people only on the final sea day at a cost of $150!! Would have loved to have done this  but how can RCI justify this cost?!! Weve done similar tours for free on previous holidays. Overheard someone talking about it and it did sound really good. Disembarkation We opted not to put our cases out at 23.00 hrs the night before. Carrying them off ourselves was no hassle and meant we could have a leisurely breakfast and leave when we wanted instead of meeting at a set location at a set time. Im sure that would have worked equally well given RCIs general organisation. One side effect following disembarkation  for the first 24 hrs we suffered from a swaying motion  very weird and difficult to concentrate on anything! Summary Hopefully this review will help some other cruise newbies! More than happy to answer any questions or clarify any points. Would we cruise again with RCI? Yes! Picked up next years brocheurs today!!   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
Adventure of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 5.0 3.8
Public Rooms 5.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 1.0 3.6
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.0

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