31 Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas Cruise Reviews for First-Time Cruisers Cruises to Caribbean - Southern

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
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
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
We sailed out of San Juan on April 14th, we live in Florida so cruising from any of our ports here would be rather easy, but we wanted to visit San Juan 2 days before and stay one additional night at the end. I must say the port in San ... Read More
We sailed out of San Juan on April 14th, we live in Florida so cruising from any of our ports here would be rather easy, but we wanted to visit San Juan 2 days before and stay one additional night at the end. I must say the port in San Juan was wonderful, very easy and efficient, the best port we have sailed out of so far. We stayed on the 9th floor balcony room which was very nice, liked the fact that the balcony was larger than what we were use to with Carnival. We were looking for a nice get a way without a lot of your children and that was exactly what it was. Ports were excellent we visited St Thomas, St Kitts, Curacao and our favorite island Aruba, we rented cars at each destination. Since we have traveled frequently to the Caribbean we were more comfortable on our own, since we wanted to shop and go to the beach. No in room amenities such as lotions, shower caps, shampoo etc. so ladies bring your own or buy it at the ports. Overall Service was excellent everywhere on the ship. The only draw back was the food, it was not good at all either cold or poor variety and qualify. We dined at Portofino their fine dining restaurant, service was excellent but meal was fair, we had fillet mignon, which had way to much tenderizer as the texture was not of one that would be served at a fine restaurant, but did taste okay, presentation was way better than the qualify. At the buffet restaurants deserts were poor, seemed like a lot of jello with cream and brownies. Late night snacks they had pre-made sandwiches and not made to order they were Nasty looking, pizza was okay but not like Carnival. We have sailed with Royal Caribbean in the past and had excellent food, but not on this ship, not sure if it was because they were going to be sailing to Europe on arrival back. The good thing was that we went on this cruise for the ports and not so much the food, good thing was that we did not put on extra weight. Gentlemen if you enjoy late night snacks, pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries you are not going to find it here, unless you go to their surcharge restaurant Johnny Rockets, the included snacks on the 5th floor serve veggie mini sandwiches and what I would call a surprise sandwich because I had no idea what was in it, so I did not eat it, as they were YUCKY. The ship itself was very well maintained, while it is an older ship in the fleet the staff does take pride in their work, as everything was spotless. Our cabin steward was great very accommodating. Entertainment was also very good. Island Shopping St Thomas is always good if you are shopping for a special piece of jewelry which were were not, beach was awesome, but driving was a little scary, lots of hills and curbs with spectacular views. St Kitts was great for shopping I was looking for a copy of a Louis Vuitton bag and found 2 right at port, ladies if you want good quality LV bags just shop at the port as the they had the best quality bags. Just can't see spending 1700+ on a bag with a little more we could just take another cruise. Driving was super scary the breaks on the left side did not work, although the steering wheel was on the right, poor roads, lots of bumps and my husband could not understand why I tried to break so many times. The good thing is that the car had an arrow pointing to Drive LEFT. Without a doubt get insurance on any rental. We ended up going to the Marrriott for lunch and stayed there by the pool very nice hotel and amenities, food was way better than the ship. Curaco, great shopping for sandals and beach wear at the floating market, very good deals and most vendors will discount a little more depending on what you are buying. Driving was very good they drive on the right side of the road. Aruba, our favorite rented a car at the Renaissance right there in town and went to the beach, food, people and driving was as great as always. Our next cruise will definitely be on Carnival. Can not say I will never go on Royal Caribbean because it was very nice except for the food and we are not huge eaters anyway. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
Weather was great all except for the last day at sea. I know no one can control the weather. Ports were cool. Each has it's personality making them unique in their own way. Staff was extremely friendly and eager to help and assist ... Read More
Weather was great all except for the last day at sea. I know no one can control the weather. Ports were cool. Each has it's personality making them unique in their own way. Staff was extremely friendly and eager to help and assist in way they can to ensure you have a delightful vacation. Sure, there are cranky and pushy guest here and there, never satisfied, always complaining but you will have that everywhere you go. The food was wonderful in all restaurants. Not every meal was exceptional but overall very good. The servers were fantastic and made a point to anticipate every need. For example, you ask for hot tea after dinner for two nights in a row, you will have it brought to you from then on without requesting it. The cabin steward made sure to watch our routine to know when was a good time to come in to clean and prepare the room. The room was always clean and spotless. About the only criticism was that there were a few food crumbs and old dry-cleaning bags under the bed when we arrived. I made a point to look there after reading some of the threads here. I cannot really comment on the shows because we only saw the welcome show. The ice show lived up to our expectations and was amazing. Not to be missed! I am a little disappointed that we missed the adult Quest activity. I hear that was um, memorable ;-) The captain was always timely with updates on every port (time, weather etc). Very professional and we always felt secure and safe. Loved the Q & A lecture with the captain and hotel manager. We have a few criticisms regarding shore excursions. I will not go into detail here on each but let's just say, a more detailed description of each excursions should be available for those of us that are excessive planners. I would extend some disappointment to the dining staff for failure to enforce the dress code. I realize many guests are lazy and just do not care but at home in a comparable restaurant, they WOULD BE TURNED AWAY and not permitted in. This is no different. If you are asked to wear a suit and tie, do it. If it is casual, it does not EVER mean shorts or tee shirts. Men are the worst offenders. Embarkation was flawless. The only thing that needs improvement would be the logistics of the boarding photographs. It seemed people were continuously crossing the photographers to move on to actually board the ship. Was not quite seem-less but not bad. Debarkation was perfect! Having to process thousands of pieces of luggage in only a few hours to have it all neatly organized in the terminal is amazing! Well done! I would certainly sail on RCL again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
Despite the horrendous 24 hour journey from the UK via American Airlines (won't rush to travel with them again) the cruise on the wonderful Adventure of the Seas made it all worthwhile. The crew were perfect in every way and I can ... Read More
Despite the horrendous 24 hour journey from the UK via American Airlines (won't rush to travel with them again) the cruise on the wonderful Adventure of the Seas made it all worthwhile. The crew were perfect in every way and I can honestly say I wouldn't change a thing about our first time cruise experience (apart maybe from the rain on Saturday). Our stateroom attendant Ed was absolutely delightful and couldn't do enough for us, I wanted to bring him home!! Our MTD dining waiter Josip and his assistant Benjamin were simply the best and made us feel so special. Every crew member on board went out of their way to make our trip as easy and enjoyable as possible, I couldn't fault them at all. We didn't go to many of the entertainment shows but I'd thoroughly recommend the ice show which was superb. The Jersey Boys Tribute band had really lovely voices, bless them, but dancing was definitely not their strong point. Unfortunately the Jersey Boys routines are simple but need to be very slick and timed to perfection and these lads just couldn't pull it off. The song at the end from Les Mis was sung beautifully and "Cry for Me" also performed very well. Maybe they should just rely on their own super voices rather than going down the tribute band route, their voices are certainly good enough. Loved the ports we visited and the private tours we booked. I would definitely recommend booking private tours rather than taking the ship excursions. We booked two ship excursions, one was OK (St Croix catamaran) but was supposed to last three hours but we were back on the ship two hours after we left it, bit of a rip off. The other one was the Antiqua Experience which was nothing short of dreadful. Extremely patronising guide who treated us like a bunch of four year olds and the so called attractions were a complete joke. Stay away from this one at all costs. The third excursion we had booked with them, the Barbados Highlights tour, I can't comment on as the tatty old bus was so full that they had to pull down all the jump seats in the extremely narrow aisle. Being claustrophobic, this meant that I had to get off the bus before it left. In fairness to RCI, they refunded us the entire cost without us even having to ask. The representative told us that they had the same problem the previous day!! I think that RCI should maybe monitor the tour companies they use more closely. I have most definitely joined the AOS fan club and in fact, we loved it and our stateroom so much that we've booked it again for a 12 night med cruise next year. Southampton departure this time though so no horrendous flights this time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
In Feb 2013 my family took for the first time a 7-day cruise to the Southern Caribbean to visit Puerto Rico, St. Croix, St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia and Barbados. The Caribbean Sea was calm and you could barely feel the boat moving; ... Read More
In Feb 2013 my family took for the first time a 7-day cruise to the Southern Caribbean to visit Puerto Rico, St. Croix, St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia and Barbados. The Caribbean Sea was calm and you could barely feel the boat moving; although we were concerned about motion sickness we were fine. Embarkation and disembarkation went smooth and organized. The ship had ~3000 passengers (80% from US, rest from Canada,Puerto Rico, Europe) with a good mix of ~60% retired people,~40% of them younger with families. We found the itinerary, boat and its amenities (restaurants, Promenade, theater, sport facilities, pools), staff, room and food excellent. The entertainment was very good especially the Ice Show (but the 70's show & disco-we could skip. The Cruise Director was everywhere where entertainment was offered, we taught that was too much). The excursions are a bit pricey, we took our child to swim with the dolphins in Anguilla (from St.Maarten),an amazing and unforgettable experience. I personally do not recommend shopping in ports, you can get the same deal in US outlet malls or department stores and you know that what you pay for is authentic, has warranty and can be returned. I would have liked if among the shore excursions would have been a shuttle to a beach offered, nothing fancy just an organized and safe transportation to a nice beach. This would be a good idea in order to avoid the hassle, harassment and price negotiation with the taxi drivers or unsafe public buses(avoid them, unreliable, we saw a driver drinking beer). Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
We are first time cruisers and picked this cruise as we wanted to see as many Caribbean islands as we could but, on a less formal and more lively ship. We loved: - Our balcony stateroom with its huge comfy bed and view out to sea. - ... Read More
We are first time cruisers and picked this cruise as we wanted to see as many Caribbean islands as we could but, on a less formal and more lively ship. We loved: - Our balcony stateroom with its huge comfy bed and view out to sea. - Our stateroom attendant, Javier. Though we didn't see much of him, he was very efficient and polite. - The ship was very handsome, we loved the decor and artworks. - The food and service (we're not foodies and have no other cruise line to compare with but, we certainly had no complaints). We liked the calm of the main dining room to the bustle of the Windjammer. Wait service we found to be excellent (particularly Eva, lovely person). - The itinerary, loved the islands and wished we could have had much longer on them. - The lovely people we met from our CC roll call. They were a hoot and we're still in touch. - We didn't mind the formal nights, it was a bit warm for getting trussed up in formal clothes but, we did it. Like lots of others, we got changed straight away after dinner and so the decks looked a little odd with some folks in tuxes and others in shorts wandering around! We didn't like: - The entertainment on board, I've never been so bored in the evenings on holiday in my life. Brits will understand the comparison I am trying to make when I liken it to 1970's Butlins Holiday Camp. The production shows were dated and dull (my granddaughter's dancing academy put on more polished and innovative shows....and the singers can sing in tune!). There were childish game shows that made me cringe. Bingo, karaoke oh no!! The nightclub, whilst decoratively stunning, played a repetitive list of 70s and 80s carwash tripe (sorry, I know some will like that but, there was so little variety of genre in playlists). If I had heard YMCA once more I think I would have flung myself overboard!! OK we like rock music, not mainstream but, I know there were lots of others on board that did too. The DJs (and I use that description loosely, because DJ's they really were not) seemed afraid to play anything wide of the mainstream......strange because on the very few occasions they did, there were plenty of takers! VARIETY.....its key to pleasing all of the people most of the time. Quality of presenting generally was poor. The comedians weren't funny. But, maybe this is a cultural thing? The exceptions to our general entertainment disappointment were the ice show (though a lady did tell us that she had seen the exact same show two years ago???), we thought it was very good. We also liked the guy in the piano bar, he did play/sing a wide variety of genres and very competently. He got everyone singing along and this bar was always busy. - ship days round the pool were like sardines. Pools were crammed. - smoking in shared indoor areas, ugh. Please note - the English style pub should be renamed, there is no smoking allowed in English pubs. Since smoking in indoor public areas has been banned in the UK we thankfully no longer have to endure a fog of other people's foul smelling smoke. Unfortunately on board there are several indoor areas where smoking is allowed, yuk, we avoided those. - the quizzes were largely aimed at an American audience. Being an international cruise line, I would have expected them to be slightly more generic and therefore inclusive to all. I understand, though, that the majority of cruisers on board were from the States, We didn't use the casino as smoking was allowed most nights. So summing up - though we loved the islands and the ship itself, RC didn't entertain us very much. The cruise line lost out on bar income from us as we would eat late and go to bed early out of boredom. At least we were fresh as a daisy for the islands each morning! We did chat to the cruise director and highlighted our various disappointments. Whilst slightly acknowledging our points, he chose to remind us that the cruise was largely American. True, but they are advertising and selling internationally. Would we cruise again? Unlikely I think, it's just not for us I'm afraid. I'd go back an visit the islands individually though, they are stunning. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
This was our very first cruise experience and it was more than I could have ever hoped for. From beginning to end we had the time of our lives. I have read so many reviews and have appreciated the information found on this site as well ... Read More
This was our very first cruise experience and it was more than I could have ever hoped for. From beginning to end we had the time of our lives. I have read so many reviews and have appreciated the information found on this site as well as advice on ports of call specifically, however finding a positive review is almost unheard of! I would like to to submit my experience so that others embarking on their first cruise experience can see that there is so much to look forward to. For me three things are very important - 1) service, 2) food and 3) having fun. We flew from Toronto, Canada to San Juan on Jan. 19th. The airport was easy to maneuver and the taxi queue was well organized. On this trip I found the research on the various taxi customs in each port was very helpful. We stayed at the Hampton Inn, Isla Verde. The hotel was in close proximity to the airport and the port. There was a nice swimming pool with a bar and our room was lovely and huge with and amazing bed! The staff here were fantastic - so very helpful. They were excited to share the puerto rican culture and gave great advice for an authentic dinner as well as how to travel to the sites. I would recommend this hotel for service, room and price. Embarkation - we came to the port right around 2:00 (sail away was at 10:00 p.m.). There was a very long line, and it was HOT, so I was a bit worried, but everything was very well organized and we moved right along. There was water and lemonade available to keep you cool, which was nice. In total, it took 1 hour to move through the line and get to our room. Our bags were there when we arrived. On sail away - we headed up to the very front of the ship and watched San Juan fall away Titanic style - cool! Then we ran all over the ship watching from all the different vantage points. Our room - We had room 7642 which was a superior oceanview stateroom with balcony - slightly aft of mid-ship. Great location! We loved our balcony!!! The room was a very good size with lots of storage. I brought lots of clothes and shoes("costume" changes are fun!)and there was amble room to store everything. The ship's decor is from the early 2000's so yes, it is a little out of date, but not too bad. It was clean and that is very important to me. Our stateroom attendant came twice a day - our room was spotless. He even left a couple of cute towel animals. Some people on this site seem to require this to have a good time....me, not so much. But it was a nice little add on. Food - I had read so many reviews about the so so food offered and so I did not have very high expectations. As I said in the beginning, food quality and customer service are very important to me, and of anything, could possibly lead to a bad experience. No worries here! we only ate in the MDR for dinner and ate at the Windjammer each morning and afternoon. The food at dinner was always amazing (except the steak) and the service was top notch! The Windjammer had so much fresh fruit and veggies, all cut up and ready to go, making it easy to eat well all week. The food is fresh, which is nice - not a lot of deep fried stuff. I thoroughly enjoyed the two formal nights! The ship - the pool area always had ample places to lounge. I never had an issue getting a seat, and never saw any hogging chairs. In fact, that was another thing....on a ship with 4000 people I never felt crowded, and never saw anyone being rude or complaining. How refreshing! We visited a couple of bars for some events and went to "the Quest" game show - what a blast! Ports of call: Day 1 - St. Thomas - What an absolutely amazing location!! We traveled by an open air cab to Magen's Bay. There were only 2 ships in port, and the beach was anything but packed. The beach was clean and there were lots of taxis waiting so you didn't have to worry about how to get back. There is a decent snack bar and little shop there as well. We rented a couple of loungers and hung out on the beach and in the water (oh so lovely) all day! Then back to the ship. What a perfect first day. Day 2 - St. Kitts - Here we opted for a tour of the island with Grey's Tours (our guide was Vincent). The tour cost $45 each for a nearly full day tour - well worth the money and highly recommended. This was a great day to see the island. I felt safe with his driving and learned a lot about the island. We visited Romney Manor and Caribelle Batik(30 min), Brimstone Hill Fortress (60 min) and then out to Frigate bay where you can see both the Atlantic Ocean and Carribean Sea. What a view. You could get dropped off at a beach for a couple of hours, but we decided to go back to the ship for a bite to eat and hit the pool. Day 3 - Day at sea.....fun day to sleep in, hang out by the pool, watch the belly flop competition, etc. Day 4 - Aruba - oh my goodness what a beautiful place!! We were in port from 8 a.m. -10 p.m. We had a tour booked with Trikes Aruba at 1:30 and so we did not leave the ship until around 12:00. If I had known better, I would have left at 9:00 in the morning!! Anyway, we headed to Palm beach to take a look around and then over to Trikes Aruba (see my review on Trip Advisor http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g488162-d2097565-Reviews-Trikes_Aruba-Noord_Aruba.html). We had a truly fantastic day with them! After the tour, we headed to Passions on the Beach for a beach-side dinner and sunset....what a great way to end a perfect day. We headed back to the ship for a pool side party and grand buffet. There was much dancing and fun to be had and the buffet was truly spectacular. Day 5 - Curacao - we had a lot of trouble figuring out what to do here. All of the info that I could find showed beaches being very far away and cabs costing a lot of money. I was tossed up between Seaquarium (Mambo Beach) and Blue Bay since they were close. Neither had great reviews so I really wasn't sure what to do. Eventually we headed down to the tourist booth in the port and they suggested Mambo. When we got there, I had a few moments where I though we might be better to go somewhere else. But after a while of sitting under a palm tree and listening to music from the beach bar, I was persuaded to stay. we swam out to the dock and hung out there for quite some time, had a couple of beers and lounged a lot!! Not too bad for a day's work. We discovered that we were sitting next to a couple from the ship and so asked if we could share a cab back with them. We had not arranged for our cab to come back, which we should have as they are not just sitting there waiting. We headed back to Willemsted to look around the pretty town and do a bit of shopping. Then back to the ship for formal night. Day 6 - at sea...lovely, but a little more movement. The seas had been pretty calm all week and this was the first day we noticed a lot of swaying, which seemed to get a little worse in the night. We packed and got organized for the morning and then went out to have some fun on the ship. Day 7 - going home :( We were up and out of our room by 8:30, had a quick breakfast and then to Studio 8 to wait debarkation. We were off the ship by 11:30, through the line to customs and in a cab and on the way to the airport before 12:00. Smooth sailing! We had such a wonderful time. We felt the staff on board were top notch and we experienced excellent customer service at every turn. I look forward to a point in the future when we can take a run at this type of trip again. I want to end on a note to comment on many of the negative reviews involving Puerto Rican people. I would like to say that the puerto rican people added to our trip in such a huge way. From their hospitality in San Juan (everywhere we went!), to the music, energy and sense of family, I would say that I have very rarely met such fantastic people. A word of advice, sometimes the behaviors you encounter are connected to the attitude you are portraying. People of all cultures can be rude (yes, even Americans!), but in my experience, these people were anything but. Thank you to everyone we met or came in contact with on this cruise - you all contributed to a vacation that we will remember forever! Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Embarking and Disembarking: We arrived at 1:45pm for a embark time of 2pm, and the line was huge. We got to our cabin at 4:30pm. The first two hours was without water, restrooms, or a place to sit. Over an hour of the time was spent in a ... Read More
Embarking and Disembarking: We arrived at 1:45pm for a embark time of 2pm, and the line was huge. We got to our cabin at 4:30pm. The first two hours was without water, restrooms, or a place to sit. Over an hour of the time was spent in a line pushing our luggage forward. If we could have just dropped off our luggage, then it would have made standing in line easier. They did not match luggage and ID, so drop-off would work. I think they were controlling how many people went into the building where health check and sea passes and security were being done, so I couldn't tell where the primary bottleneck was. Disembarking was more comfortable but more worrying. We all filled out forms about our departure schedule but the disembark organizers didn't seem to pay attention to the forms. My parents, with a 1pm flight, were in a later meeting group than us, when we were staying over a night. My parents had to stand in line to request the 9:50am group. They figured the 9:50 meeting with a written estimate of 40-50 minutes before getting off, would leave them with 2 ½ hours to get to the airport--sufficient. However we waited and waited--comfortably, unlike for embarking, but worrisomely--and got out at noon. My parents missed their flight. The primary bottleneck was US Customs. My sister and family chose the 7am carry-your-own option. There were delays at Customs, but not severe delays. Bright notes: it was easy to find our luggage in the warehouse--the luggage for the 9:50 meeting group was in a nice line so it was easier than on a luggage carousel. It was easy to reclaim a held knife, taken during embarking. Getting on and off the ship at a port sometimes had a short wait and often had no wait. Controlled Items: The new policy is that you may bring in 2 bottles of wine per cabin at embarking. You may bring on liquor and it is sold in the embarking area, but it will be stored until the end of the trip. You are forbidden to bring on alcohol or any beverages or perishables at any point. I saw some people having their sandwiches confiscated. I routinely went through the checking machine with water in my water bottle and no one cared. The Stateroom: We had a set of ocean-side staterooms with balconies and they were very nice. Bathroom: Some people had trouble figuring out the shower hot water. To get hot water, as opposed to tepid (in the tropics, I am fine with tepid) you have to press the magic red button on the nozzle. You can set the shower temperature and volume independently, which is a good thing. There was enough room under the counter, once I moved a couple things, to fit our wet scuba bag. Refrigerator: The refrigerator comes filled with their stuff, but I can took it out and stored it, leaving a note in the refrigerator saying where it was, and put it back at the end. Someone else in our group had them take the stuff away and another person was told it could not be taken away. Room: The bed was two singles fitted together and the crack was mildly annoying. I really liked that the room did not smell of cleaning products. There was enough space for our stuff once empty luggage and warm clothes went under the bed. It was small but quite sufficient. Three in the room would have been inconvenient. Balcony: It was great having a balcony. Our room steward said not to leave anything flammable on the balcony when we weren't there. Someone else said they were told not to put towels or laundry out at any time. We picked the first rule, of course. Food: The Main Dining Room presents you with a 3 course menu, but you do not have to pick one from each column. I had the appetizer fruit plate for dessert one night. One night I shared 3 appetizers with my sister. Another night my dessert was seconds on the wonderful if light grilled shrimp. All seafood ranged from excellent (the grilled shrimp, a seafood salad, a bouillabaisse-ish soup in the Windjammer lunch) to good (salmon benedict, lobster tail, clam chowder). The pastas ranged from so-so to poor. The beef was good, although the "rare" prime rib varied among our large group. Every night they offered a cold fruit soup, which seemed odd--but it turned out to be a good fruit smoothie served in a bowl. The breads were quite good and there was, on request, gluten-free bread that people really liked. They did not have plain fruit for dessert. In general the food was Euro-American with other influences. Even if a dish said it was non-Euro-American, it was only lightly so--the harissa soup was quite good, but not very harissa-y. Within the Euro-American area, they did well: wonderful rotkohl and duck, wild mushrooms en croute, kippered herring (breakfast in MDR). The Windjammer: Unlimited bacon for breakfast. Excellent pineapple but not exotic fruit--no mangos, guavas, or such. The Windjammer lunches were mixed. The hamburgers were sad looking. The stews were usually quite good, and there was a biryani that was spicy and good. If I worked within the steam table limits I ended up happy. And of course, after scuba or snorkel, all food is good. You can also take food and drink away--a snack in your room or lemonade by the pool. Sometimes the Windjammer was jammed, although even at its worst we only had to wait a couple of minutes for a table to clear. Shipboard Entertainment: We mostly hung out with the group on various balconies and drank red wine. We went to the ice dancing show and it was great fun--heavy on lifts and light on jumps to accommodate the ship's movement. You need to get your tickets at 7-8am the first morning, and you can return them if you change your mind--but they disapprove of just wasting the tickets. The 13th deck bar has a great kinetic sculpture but it only runs occasionally. The hot tubs were usually occupied but rarely full. There were always deck chairs available when I looked. The little children's pool area was popular and was well equipped. Staff: All of the staff were cheerful and helpful. Our primary waiter, Merilyn, was great. Our assistant waiter, WenWen, had limited English and limited experience--but was smart, hardworking, and perceptive. Our room steward, Rafael, was very attentive and worked hard to keep people happy. Miscellaneous: Internet was 65 cents a minute and available only on parts of the ship--and the business room was not a hot spot. Lots of Spanish speakers, who were all very kind about my efforts to practice Spanish. Some passengers were annoying (do you need to spend so long selecting a roll? Why do you let your kid press extra elevator buttons when it is so crowded?) and some were delightful (so what does your Basque identity mean to you?). Would I do it again? It was wonderful for the group. Subsets did various things during the day and then we all dined together and hung out. The cruise gave a framework that would be hard to beat. But for just the two of us--no, cruises are not my thing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
To start, I would like to thank Cruise Critic and all of the posters who ask and answer so many questions. I definitely felt knowledgeable and prepared for our first cruise. And I would like to send out a big HELLO to all the teachers we ... Read More
To start, I would like to thank Cruise Critic and all of the posters who ask and answer so many questions. I definitely felt knowledgeable and prepared for our first cruise. And I would like to send out a big HELLO to all the teachers we met on this cruise -- both from Ontario and elsewhere. And finally, thanks to Vercat067 for inviting my husband and I to join in the Tight Budget Tour with you and your family -- we had a great day. We sailed during March Break in Ontario (March 11 -- 18) from San Juan. The islands we visited were: St. Croix, St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia and Barbados. We flew in the same day and were onboard the ship by just after 4pm. Embarkment for us was easy as we arrived later in the afternoon. There were no line ups and we literally walked right on the ship. What a great first impression! We walked onto Deck 4 and were amazed that we were on a ship. We went right up to our cabin on Deck 9, changed into our summer clothes that we carried on with us and started exploring the ship. We had My Time Dining and ate at 6pm every night. The first night we went to the dining room and were encouraged to make a reservation as we would have had to stand in line. We knew we were not going to be in the dining room on certain nights, so we let the girl at the front desk know not to expect us. We had a table for 2 right by the window, so we could enjoy the scenery. Our waiter, Ibrahim, was amazing. I honestly believe he could read our minds as we hadn't even mentioned something out loud and he was already asking if we wanted it. Dinner every night was great -- the selections were good, I'm sure everyone could find something they liked. On the alternative menu, there is always a pasta, fish, steak and chicken entree that is offered. And you could order as many things as you wanted. One night the entrees didn't appeal to me, so I asked for 3 starters instead. No problem. Another night I didn't like the sides that were offered with the main, again no problem. Oh I should also mention that the breads offered during dinner were incredible. We were told on many occasions that this was our vacation and we could do want we wanted. We weren't sure about the formal nights, so I brought a few sundresses and my husband brought a pair of nice dress pants (ones you would wear with a suit), a long sleeve button down shirt and a tie. The 2nd night (St. Croix) was the first formal night and meet the Captain and the 5th night (Barbados) was the second (ie. Lobster night). On the first formal night we noticed that some people were dressed more casually than us, but the average were dressed more formally -- a suit for men and a nice cocktail dress for the women. There were photographers set up at the entrance of the dining room every night as well as a few walking around taking pictures while we were eating. The 2 nights we didn't go to the dining room, we ate in the Windjammer. The selection was also very good and I noticed quite a few things that were either offered that same night in the dining room or from the night before. We ate in the Windjammer Buffet every morning (other than our at sea day) and it was nice. We're not big breakfast eaters, so we mostly had fruit, yogurt and a few slices of bacon or a pastry. I should mention that every day at breakfast they offered a cold cut and cheese area with a big platter of smoked salmon. On the sea day we had breakfast in the dining room. It really wasn't much of an experience. I ordered the eggs Benedict and asked for a side of hash browns. When my plate was brought to me, there wasn't any ham on the eggs and no extra hash browns. The waiter than argued with me saying that he remembered me asking for them without ham. In the long run, not really a big issue, but don't argue with your customer and make them feel like they did something wrong. I asked just for a plate with a few pieces of ham on it, but he ended up bringing me a whole new order. We only ate lunch twice on the ship -- the 2nd and 6th afternoons. Again, lots of selection and I really enjoyed the different pasta and potato salads that were offered. We did not attend the welcome aboard comedy act, but did see it on the TV and the comedian was really funny. The Vegas style shows were awesome and the ice skating show was incredible. I'm still not sure how they are able to spin and do flips and lifts so perfectly when the ship is moving. The other entertainment was great too, especially Judy and the farewell act. We picked this cruise mostly for the ports and we were not disappointed. In St. Croix we visited the Fort located to the left of the pier, walked around the town square/park area and picked up a few souvenirs and then went back to the ship for lunch. In the afternoon we headed to the beach located to the left of the pier -- max a 10 minute walk from the ship. The water was great, but it was a little rocky getting in. This pier also offered free shuttles from the ship to the end of the pier area. St. Maarten was next and we have a friend who lives on the island, so she took us on an island tour. We did some shopping in Philipsburg and walked along the beach. We headed over to Maho Beach for lunch and it was incredible. I have seen the videos of the planes landing/taking off on YouTube, but seeing it in person is totally different. We have some great pictures/video of the planes. Antigua we joined up with a group we met on Cruise Critic and went on the Tight Budget Tour with Gordon. At first he didn't seem very organized -- we thought we were all going to be travelling together in a big bus (there were 15 of us), but instead he split the group into 2. We drove to Nelson's dockyard and did the interactive tour there, followed by a drive up to the look out and the block house. Absolutely incredible views. We then went to Valley Church beach. There is a restaurant on the beach (The Nest), where we had lunch. The sand and water were both very beautiful. There are a few vendors around, but they didn't bother us at all. In St. Lucia we did a ship tour (Land and Sea to the Pitons). For the first 2 hours we drove down to Soufriere, making many stops at lookouts. At the beginning of the tour, we were told that the employment rate on the island is 24% and most people are self-employed -- meaning they sell souvenirs. At every stop there were tables set up with people offering different things. For the most part they weren't too pushy, but some were. We then had a tour of the Botenical Gardens and took pictures of Diamond Waterfall and had lunch at the Old Mill Estate. After lunch we headed for the catamaran. The view of the Pitons was amazing. We sailed to a small beach area where the locals paddled up to us on kayaks selling shells and coconuts. If we weren't with a large group I'm sure it would have been intimidating, but we were fine. The water is beautiful and we swam for about 45 minutes. The rest of the time we made a few short stops to look at different resorts on the island as we made our way back to the ship. In Barbados we walked to Bridgetown and do some exploring and then walk to Carlisle Beach. It was pretty overcast, so we decided not to bring our towels. We went to the Pelican Art area and expected there to be a lot more than just a few stores offering local art. We looked around, but didn't buy anything. On the boardwalk there was a man who was painting (watercolour) and selling originals and prints. If you're walking into Bridgetown stay on the water/boardwalk side. We followed the road and ended up in a kinda sketchy area. Again, I didn't feel unsafe at any point, but there really isn't anything to see either. Once in Bridgetown we went to the government complex and the museum. It was a nice way to spend about an hour, but nothing too exciting. We then asked for directions to the beach and made our way to Lobster Alive. I really wanted to try flying fish, but Lobster Alive didn't offer it on their menu so we walked down to Harbour Lights. It's a nice mild fish and we both ordered the platter (2 fish fillets, fries and a bit of salad). On the At Sea day we found 2 loungers and relaxed for a couple hours before the Belly Flop contest. This was so much fun and I definitely recommend being around for it. GO CANADA!! There were a few more activities that afternoon, but we either missed them or just watched briefly from our chairs. Overall we had a very nice experience. I didn't expect to be able to feel the ship moving as much as I did. I guess I'm just very sensitive to that sort of thing. Neither of us were ill or felt ill, but it's a different kind of feeling that takes some time to get used to. We saw quite a few people walking around with patches behind their ears, but I didn't have to use anything more than a few herbal gravol during the day just to make sure I was ok. It's a great way to see a lot of different islands and we'll probably cruise again in the future.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
First time cruiser celebrating several birthdays and anniversaries with 26 friends and family. Arrived in San Juan the day before and stayed at the Intercontinental. Would definitely go back to that hotel! Embarkation: We left for ... Read More
First time cruiser celebrating several birthdays and anniversaries with 26 friends and family. Arrived in San Juan the day before and stayed at the Intercontinental. Would definitely go back to that hotel! Embarkation: We left for the terminal shortly after hotel checkout at 12:00. Took us a total of 10 minutes to drop off baggage, check in and get our Sea Pass. No problems at all. We were in a Junior Suite so we did have the convenience of dropping the baggage off at the special area and using the preferred line for check-in. Staff at terminal was very helpful and directed us to where the preferred line was. But even my sister and parents who had to wait in the regular baggage and check-in lines went through the entire process in 30-45 minutes. I was truly surprised after reading all of the terrible reviews people have given the embarkation process in San Juan. Junior Suite 9268 - We were able to get into our stateroom exactly at 2:00. Our room happened to be directly across from the service elevator so after changing into our suits to go to the pool, we walked out our door and the RC staff searched the service area for us and found all four of our bags right away for us. The junior suite was great! More than enough storage area and loved how much wider the suite was over a regular stateroom. Husband and I thought the food was great. Really had no complaints about the Windjammer or the Main Dining Room. People do need to keep in mind how many passengers are being fed at one time. If you are looking for 5 star dining, then Portofino's is available every night for $20. Our meals in the Main Dining Room were always delivered hot and I enjoyed everything I ate. I even tried several things I would never ordinarily order, and I enjoyed them as well. Ate at Portofono's Sunday night, and the meal was fantastic. Enjoyed Windjammers for breakfast.St. Croix - Went to Rainbow Beach which is less than 2 miles from the pier. Could see the ship while sitting on the beach. They had a snorkeling area which was enjoyed by husband and a friend. Rented chairs for $5. The beach was not crowded. Had a light lunch at Rhythms beach bar. St. Maarten - Went to Maho Beach to watch the planes land. Amazing site. Then did a little shopping near the ship. Enjoyed the $2 Coronas in the duty free shop. Antigua - Asked one of the bar staff on the ship for a beach recommendation and he directed us to Jolly Beach. This was definitely my favorite beach. The water is absolutely beautiful. Husband and friend rented jet skis - $45 for half an hour. Had a wonderful taxi driver, Sheymore, who really gave us a great informative tour of the island on the way to the beach and back. St. Lucia - Were supposed to go on Coastal Cruise to the Pitons but got rained out. Shopped around the ship for a little bit and then went to Castries Market. Not a great place - especially strange when you see police in military uniforms carrying machine guns. Unfortunately we did not get to see the beautiful parts of St. Lucia. Did enjoy the 2 for $3 Piton beer back at the duty free shopping area. Barbados - We were going to go to the Boatyard but a woman at the taxi area told us to go to Harbour Lights Beach which is near the Boatyard and there was no admission fee. What a great place. Friends went snorkeling with the turtles on a private boat for $25 and they said it was amazing! Had a good lunch at the Harbour Lights beach bar. Can't believe how powdery the sand felt here. Seemed like there was nothing on the ocean floor but soft sand. Got off ship early on Sunday since we had excursion to the rainforest. Took about half an hour to go through the customs line. Loaded our luggage into a truck and RC had it waiting for us on the sidewalk at the airport (with a guard watching it of course) when we got back from the excursion. Only part of the vacation I didn't care for was the San Juan airport. There was no way you could arrive at that airport two hours before your flight that Sunday and actually make the flight. We got there between 2 and 2:30 after excursion with a 6:00 flight and was dreading that we would have 3 1/2 hours to sit and wait. By the time we got through baggage/checkin area and then security, I think we sat for less than 45 minutes before boarding plane. This was definitely the best vacation I have ever had. Felt like a week long party. Already booked our next cruise for next March. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
My wife and I stayed in San Juan, Puerto Rico Embassy Suites four days prior to the Cruise and Sheraton Old San Juan two days after the Cruise which made for a great much needed extended 13 day vacation. Embassy Suites was great with a ... Read More
My wife and I stayed in San Juan, Puerto Rico Embassy Suites four days prior to the Cruise and Sheraton Old San Juan two days after the Cruise which made for a great much needed extended 13 day vacation. Embassy Suites was great with a wonderful pool and they had a great deal that included buffet breakfast, free internet, and a two hour free drinks/snacks Social Hour each night. There was also a supermarket around the corner,the beach is a five minute walk, and you can take the bus to Old San Juan for 75 cents. The Sheraton in Old San Juan was so-so, but there lots of nearby dinning options and free/cheap transportation to shopping and sites like the huge Fort that are worth seeing. We went on the Cruise with two other couples which made the trip more fun for us. Being a first time Cruiser myself, I was very iffy on the whole idea of a Cruise, especially in light of all the recent Cruise ship problems, but I have to say that Royal Caribbean did a great job and I recommend them highly and would definitely go on another Cruise. Embarkment at the Pier was about as smooth as could be expected. There were long lines, but things went smoothly especially when you consider they are shuffling thousands of people of all ages with luggage etc. Plenty of staff to answer questions, vendors with water, and everyone was friendly and helpful. Aboard the ship, we had an interior center ship cabin on the 9th floor. (the cheap seats) King sized bed, couch, desk area with large mirror, TV, large closet, ample built-in storage drawers/areas, tight bathroom with shower and more storage areas(but met our needs), and ample lighting throughout. All we needed and I was actually surprised and felt it more than met our needs. For me, why spend more for more room, a baloney, etc? We were never "hanging out" in our room and why would you when there are open decks with chairs, beaches at Port, a Ship Casino, and ample entertainment opportunities. There was also no noise transfer between rooms. Our Cabin Attendant was very accommodating and each day we were greeted by a spotless room, very helpful printed information on the next day's Port and activities, and "towel art" on our beds. Expectations more than met. We ate in the dinning room for almost all of our meals and I highly recommend this as the meals were higher end experiences that offered a nice variety of choices for appetizers, Entrees, and desserts. This really added to our Cruise vacation experience. Service was excellent and meals served in well timed courses. You can order anything you wish and any number of items and we took advantage trying many different appetizers and desserts. I really felt the offerings were excellent and I "tried" dessert options more than usual due to the more exotic offerings available. We often ordered a variety of things just to try them. Prior to the Cruise I was a bit put out by the noted "Formal nights", as I like to relax on vacation, but these were only two nights, were not stuffy, and other nights attire was casual enough to include golf shirts etc. More casual dress is accommodated in the Windjammer Buffet and this is an option for any meal and open all day. We only had two meals in the Windjammer and this was a bit of a disappointment. A decent selection, great service, but some of the selections were a bit disappointing such as the omelets, but to be fair, a very tough job to do when you are preparing for thousands. This is a great option for when you are on the run or to send the kids to where they can stop and go all day if they wish. All in all the meal options were really Excellent and this was just another huge surprise for me on the Cruise. The service was always excellent and each night the dinning room would have some special presentation such as introducing the Chefs or themed Italian nights etc. all adding to the night. I also took advantage of ordering room service one night just because I could, lol. Two Ice teas and a nice Turkey Panini sandwich with fries that my wife and I split. Excellent. :) Entertainment was ample and we participated in the available shows each night. Some were a bit cheesy, but all the entertainers were excellent. From Singers/Dancers, Comedy, and Ice skating shows, there were ample choices for all. We had our photo taken with "Bowzer" from Sha Nah Nah and he also did free autographed photos for anyone willing to wait in line. The couples Comedy show was hysterical and the Cruise Director did an excellent job on all levels. There were also nightly "events" such as poolside dances, belly flop contest, a 70's night, etc. We utilized the Ship Casino daily usually ending our night there and I even won 3rd place in the Blackjack tournament! Table games had low minimums of $6 and a variety of different options including Blackjack, Poker, and Craps. Plenty of slot machines and Bingo games too. There were also nightly bands playing in bar areas outside the Casino and offered a nice way to relax, enjoy some quality music, and have a drink. There was also excellent gym options. I intended to utilize this, much like at home, but decided I was on vacation and was too busy with relaxing and other things. :) There were also plenty of kids options that I am not familiar with and other entertainment options as well. Something for everyone for sure. Our Ports of call were St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Aruba, and Curacao. At each Port we didn't rush to embark and enjoyed a relaxed breakfast leaving around 10:30 and returning to ship 4-5pm to get ready for dinner. All Ports had wonderful beaches with Turquoise water and ample touristy shopping options. We found t-shirts we liked and I recommend doing a bit of "shopping" as often various vendors have the same items a few steps away for less. We were lucky enough to meet up with some friends in St. Thomas that have a sailboat there and they took us out sailing for the day to an island where we snorkeled etc. A great great day. We mainly relaxed and enjoyed the beaches at each port having a couple drinks at beach-side Cabana bars. We photographed a lot of great moments during the Cruise and there are Ship staff photographer options readily available during/before/after dinner and other times where you can have your photos taken for free. They then print out the photos and display them and you can pick any you wish to purchase. They should come up with a better system for this however, such as going all digital, have larger digital displays for viewing, and perhaps offer a web site so you could make purchases at home after the Cruise if you have "second thoughts". They literally print off thousands of 8x10 photographs and display them and then throw them all away if not purchased. This certainly is not "Green" and I think they could save money, offer lower prices to encourage more purchases, etc. if they went to all digital. They are doing some of that, but there is a long way to go. Building a web site might also offer more options to mix trip and stock photos onto a DVD with music options etc. Seems like it could be way more efficient, be less wasteful, and end up making more money and more memories that could be more readily shared with family/friends resulting in free advertising for the Cruise line. During the Cruise we only had one day with some sway and otherwise I rarely knew I was aboard a ship and had to remind myself we were moving about. I did have some initial reaction when first on-board the first day/night, but that was minor, never involved any need for motion aides, and quickly resolved the next morning. I have to say that the staff aboard the ship were all outstanding. Everything was spotless with only a few exceptions of some odors at times in stairways etc., but these were always quickly resolved. With thousands on board this is very tough to accomplish. Staff was helpful, friendly, courteous and responded well to efforts to engage in discussion. Most are from the far corners of the world and I truly admire their initiative to take the opportunity for such employment far from home and far from their families. Most are gone for 6-7 months and return home after their long absence making the sacrifice to provide for themselves and family. You have to admire that and we did tip accordingly for their great service and admiration. In this day and age it is tough to find those that want to work and provide great service with pride. I enjoyed all our conversations with staff and some were real "personalities" on their own adding to our fun. Disembarkment was equally smooth and we chose to avoid the lines and be among the last off the ship. They offered an option to meet this need and while we still had a line at Customs, this all went smooth and without huge delays. We stayed a couple days in Old San Juan after the Cruise and didn't need to hurry to catch a plane. All in all Royal Caribbean did an EXCELLENT A++ job and I would definitely Cruise again. With all the recent negative publicity for a variety of serious Cruise problems, Royal Caribbean came through with no problems for my first Cruise experience. I have literally been all around the world: The Great Wall of China, Pyramids of Egypt, The Grand Bazaar of Istanbul, The Colosseum in Rome, etc. and I was impressed by what the Cruise experience offers in "tasting" each Port. This offers a very affordable option especially for families taking children with lots to do for all. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
This will be a rather in depth review as I hope it will help both first time cruisers (like myself just a little over a week ago) and others who may or may not have been to these Islands before. Arrived Puerto Rico without any ... Read More
This will be a rather in depth review as I hope it will help both first time cruisers (like myself just a little over a week ago) and others who may or may not have been to these Islands before. Arrived Puerto Rico without any problems. Puerto Rico was a lovely city. We didn't spend much time there but certainly could have. We just walked around Old San Juan. Collected luggage and walked outside and immediately found taxi to take us to Caribe Hilton. I had found a really good deal through expedia at the Caribe Hilton for $129 when typically it is around $244. Fair warning about this hotel - There are 2 sections. One is the main Hilton Hotel, the other is considered their "villas" which appeared to be a time share property. The room type I choose was a king ocean view. When we arrived and checked it we were given out room and directions on how to get there. This place is massive and the directions were terrible on how to find the room. We walked and walked and got lost and walked some more and finally found the room in the "villa" section. The building(s) in the villa section were typical vacation style property buildings and nothing fancy or of any resemblance to any Hilton I had stayed in. Upon arriving to the room I was surprise that we had a balcony room. Our options were for either King with oceanview or king with balcony. I choose the oceanview. We did not have an oceanview more like a bay view but we only had one night in the place so I didn't find any need to request a new room or complain about anything as truly there wasn't anything "wrong." The grounds are really nice and there are several bars/restaurants. We had 2 margaritas at the pool bar and the total was $25 so I imaging it would be very expensive to stay here for any length of time. Embarkation day was a breeze. The lines were very very long however because we had been upgraded to a suite we were able to get into the priority line which was basically non existent so we walked right up to the counter and were able to board the ship. First impressions of the ship were good, very clean. We had dinner reservations at 7:15 but as of 6:45 one of our bags had not yet arrived to the room so we didn't have proper clothing for the dining room so we opted for the Windjammer the first night. It was good, nothing outstanding but nothing bad either. This was the only dinner we had in the Windjammer. The food in the dining room for dinner was outstanding. We didn't really know what to expect but we ate in the dining room every night after the first and there was always a variety and everything we had was just really good. Great Thanksgiving dinner as well! We ordered room service for breakfast one morning which was not very good. We did not order room service for breakfast again. We had breakfast in the Windjammer one morning and it also was just ok, nothing special. We did have breakfast in the main dining room several mornings and it was quite good each time. The ship was very large with a lot of activities for all ages. There were not a ton of children on this cruise which was nice and the adult only solarium was very nice although it doesn't not get a lot of sun in the morning and evening just during the middle of the day which we were always off the ship. We read lots of reviews regarding the ship and how it needs updated and was looking tired. We did not get this impression at all. Although this was our first ship and perhaps had we been on newer ships we may have noticed but we had absolutely no problem with the ship and would certainly cruise on it again. The Royal Promenade was great and they had decorated for Christmas after Thanksgiving so that was a nice touch. No part of the ship ever felt crowded and we often wondered where everyone was since it was sold out. One observation that we didn't think of and it is certainly not a complaint. Because the ship sailed from Puerto Rico there were lots of locals. As such a lot of the bands/karaoke/events were geared toward Spanish speaking guests. They played mostly music in Spanish in Jester's (the nightclub) and most of the singers for Karaoke were singing i Spanish and some of the bands/singers were singing in Spanish. Again not a complaint just made it a little more difficult for those of us who did not speak Spanish. Upon return to Puerto Rico we weren't sure what we were going to do because we had all day. Turns out we met a couple guys on the cruise with us who had a hotel room reserved so we were able to take out bags to their hotel and did some more walking around San Juan, saw the 2 forts which were really impressive. There was one band onboard that we listened to several times while onboard. Take 4 I believe was their name and they were very good. And they mostly sang in English :) The ice show was very good as well as the production choreographed by one of the dancers on Dancing with the Stars. Again we had heard some of the entertainment was not good, we did not get that impression at all. I can't think of anything else at the moment but hopefully once I post this I can edit it if I do. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
This was DH and my first time cruising but were fortunate enough to be accompanied by another couple that had 4 previous cruises under their belt. They certainly assisted in navigating through the unknown aspects of this vacation. We ... Read More
This was DH and my first time cruising but were fortunate enough to be accompanied by another couple that had 4 previous cruises under their belt. They certainly assisted in navigating through the unknown aspects of this vacation. We sailed from San Juan, PR and found the boarding to be systematic and fluid. We had no issues having pre-printed our SeaPass info from home. Upon arrival on the gangway, we were impressed with the size of the ship and the friendliness of the staff. Our room was well-appointed and the balcony was a plus. Would not sail without one from now on. We had coffee and watched the sunrise in the mornings on the balcony. What an inspiring sight! Our room steward, Walter, was kind and attentive. (Loved coming in from dinner each evening to see which towel animal we would see that night)We had late dining, 8:30 PM, which was ideal for us. We were able to go on some great excursions, return to the ship, relax a bit and then get prepared for the evening. The meals were delicious. Our waiters, Macallister and Luis,were very attentive and personable. we enjoyed laughing with them every night. Even when we decided to have breakfast and/or lunch in the MDR, if either of them were on duty, they made a point of coming over to where we were seated, just to say hello and check on us. This was customer service plus! We enjoyed the musical entertainment each night after dinner and the casino called us in daily. No blockbuster wins, but enough to make you return the next day. Disembarking was probably the most difficult part of the cruise, only because we didn't want our adventure to end. We found everyone on Royal Caribbean to be extremely friendly, service oriented and anxious to make our vacation one to remember!Loved it so much, we are booking one for next year, same ship, different islands in the southern Caribbean. "Our waiters said they would be on that sailing, so hoping to see them again:)It was wonderful to have met all the folks we had been corresponding with on our Roll Call. We had an unofficial meeting on Sunday at the Pool Bar when we boarded and were able to identify each other by the leis we were wearing. The official "M and M" on Monday was fun and we made some great acquaintances. We will try to keep in touch and possibly cruise together again! Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
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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