24 Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas Holiday Cruise Reviews

The staff on Adventures of the Seas was outstanding! This ship was nice and clean at all times. My husband and I have a few (small) gripes, things that we liked better on other cruise lines: 1. not enough (free) counter service food/meal ... Read More
The staff on Adventures of the Seas was outstanding! This ship was nice and clean at all times. My husband and I have a few (small) gripes, things that we liked better on other cruise lines: 1. not enough (free) counter service food/meal options, which leads to long lines and congestion at the Windjammer buffet. A counter service at the pool area would be idea, a grill with pizza/burgers/salads. Another food issue, was the lack of a room service menu and the quality of that food. However, our meals in the main dining room were absolutely delicious! 2. Mid ship elevators were very slow, more than expected during peak times and non peak times. 3. The jogging track wraps around the 12th deck and intertwines sunbathers on lounge chairs, and there are frequently people strolling around and looking at the scenery, and they don't move for the joggers. The track is not very well labeled and as a jogger you feel as if you are "in the way". A better location would be around the sport deck. 4. The big daily "sale" that happens on the promenade cause major congestion for those guest just walking through not wanting to shop. Suggestion would be to maybe spread their "station" out longer instead of wider to provide room on either side for guests needing to get through. 5. The ice skating show was wonderful, so much talent and fun to watch! The times for open ice skate were limited so we were unable to try out this activity. 6. The "don't stop the rock" show left us disappointed. 7. On a typical evening after dinner, around 8-8:30pm, it seemed as if there was a lack of (free) activities. If you wanted to sit in the pub and pay for beer, or go to the skybar and pay for drinks, those were options. Only 2 nights were there some sort of activity (love & marriage show and a less than desirable comedy routine put on the same time as another game show activity so you couldn't attend both). 8. The food at Johnny Rockets was terrible! The burgers lacked toppings and were overcooked. The French fries served to us were cold and tasted as if they were sitting for a long time, the waiter never replaced them. Very disappointing. 9. Returning from a day at port, other ships on the dock had a "welcome back" party for their guests, playing music and giving them small cups of water. Very nice! Wish RCI would do this. Hopefully you have read through all my comments. This ship is beautiful and clean and you will have a nice time. All staff we had contact with were absolutely outstanding! Even though it looks like I'm full of complaints here, I'm not. It was a nice ship and a fantastic vacation, we just prefer other ships. Thank you! Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This is my 7th cruise and 4th with RCI. This is my first time on the Adventure of the Seas, but my second on a Voyager class. The other RCI I've been on was the Allure. We arrived in San Juan the Friday before embarkation because ... Read More
This is my 7th cruise and 4th with RCI. This is my first time on the Adventure of the Seas, but my second on a Voyager class. The other RCI I've been on was the Allure. We arrived in San Juan the Friday before embarkation because this was our first time in Puerto Rico. We stayed in a condo in Condado, just outside of Old San Juan. On Saturday, we toured Old San Juan's two fort, San Cristobal and El Morro and had dinner close by. In San Juan, RCI's ship dock by the city's smaller airport, SIG, and no in Ols San Juan port. There is really nothing around the port. The best way to get to the port is by taxi and most driver will know where RCI docks. Since we booked a JS, we were allowed to embark any time between 11AM - 7PM. We arrived at the terminal around 1PM and were a lot of people already in line. As we had only three pieces of luggage, we decided to carry on our own bags. The whole embarkation process took about 20-25 minutes, and our JS was ready when we got onboard. Our cabin, 9628 JS, was on the port side close to the rear elevator bank. We were very happy with our cabin and everything worked fine. Please see our separate cabin review. Our cabin steward, Keithly, took care of us very well and we never had a problem with his service or the cleanliness of our cabin. We selected early seating in the MDR for this cruise and we found ourselves seated on table 318, in the Vivaldi dining room on deck 3. This table, a table for 10, was located in the middle of the dining room under the main chandelier by the Captain's table. I thought we would see the Captain once or twice during the cruise, but he did not dine in the dining room during the whole cruise. Our main waiter in the dining room, Syvester, was really good and he got to know us by the third night; no wonder, he has been with RCI for seven years. We dined at the MDR all week for dinner and we were very happy with the quality and quantity of the food. We had one or two dishes we didn't cared for the whole week, but everything else was cooked perfectly to our order and taste. The ship was decked out for the holidays with a huge Christmas tree forward on the Promenade. There was definitely a Christmas feel throughout the ship and even the crew was into the spirit. Since my last two cruises were on the Allure, the level of entertainment was just not the same, and I didn't expect it either. But our cruise director, Mercedes, and her staff did their best. The song and dance shows were more than acceptable, the comedians were funny, Alan Chamo, the Mental Magician, was entertaining. The ice shows were up to par. But most of all, we really had fun with Matt Yee at the Schooner Bar every night from 9:45PM till late with his adult sing along show. There was even a Christmas carol sing along on the Promenade deck on Christmas Eve. Even though the ship was full, we never felt crowded and we found good seats at every show. This cruise was so enjoyable, we decided to rebook for Christmas 2015! Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This was our 13th cruise during Xmas/New Years. This year we did Xmas week. We arrived in San Juan on Saturday a day before our departure. I received an email prior saying we needed to arrive no earlier than 1pm. We left the hotel about ... Read More
This was our 13th cruise during Xmas/New Years. This year we did Xmas week. We arrived in San Juan on Saturday a day before our departure. I received an email prior saying we needed to arrive no earlier than 1pm. We left the hotel about 12:15 and arrived at the port. There is a line for Diamond Members to drop their bags. We stood in a long line due to only have 1 machine to put your carry on bags thru. That was a little crazy and they were letting people on. Why send the emails/texts then? We were able to get into line for the Diamond Members and quickly checked in. I liked the fact that they took your picture right when you were checking in than later. We made our way on board and went to the Windjammer for lunch. After lunch we were able to throw our bags into the room and went back to the kiddie pools on 12. The water in the kiddie pools was freezing cold. A few observations that I noted that need to change. If you have a kid not potty trained then they can't use the pools even with swim diapers. You tell me what 3 yr old is not peeing in the adult pools? I think a swim diaper catches everything vs a little kid. The only thing my 20 month old great niece could go in was the shower on deck 12. Seems odd. There is a lot of shade on deck 12 in the back by the kiddie pools. Why not get more in the sun? We got a balcony this time around and it was nice. My sisters complaint is they don't get the room set based on who is staying there. i.e. a double bed was made when twin beds were needed. She had to ask for her bathrobe also. Our bags came quickly. Mine first along with my nephews/wife/babies bags. I quickly unpacked about 3 in the afternoon. The other 6 in our party came a little later about 4. The food was fantastic on the first night. We always joke about the onion tart being on the menu and we were all surprised it was not. The food the first few nights were great. Then by Wednesday it was taking longer to get food out. We know it wasn't our server so it had to be the kitchen. We started to ask for her meal immediately so she didn't fuss. Domingos was our waiter and he gets a double thumbs up. We loved the ports and went to new beaches this trip in Aruba and Curacao. We wish that there were more ships leaving out of San Juan. The weather is better leaving further south than out of Florida. We wish in all public bathrooms there are toilet seat covers available. That would be nice. We booked again for next year but a little unhappy about some of the ports they are picking. i.e. Martinique, Grenada to name a few. We are booked on the Celebrity for next year. I hate the fact they changed the itinerary for 2 days back to back at sea. Hopefully this will change. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Was onboard the Adventure of the Seas on the Dec.21.2014 sailing and here is my review. Please note I have also been on the Allure and the Oasis of the Seas, other RCL ships and Emerald Princess in the past as well San Juan Airport to ... Read More
Was onboard the Adventure of the Seas on the Dec.21.2014 sailing and here is my review. Please note I have also been on the Allure and the Oasis of the Seas, other RCL ships and Emerald Princess in the past as well San Juan Airport to Seaport: Took a taxi which cost $25 and was there in 20 minutes. Check-in was fast with very friendly assistants. Cabin Location and Condition: Cabin# 6244 was a balcony cabin right across from the elevators but we did not hear any noise from the promenade. It was in very good condition and was larger than the ones on the Allure of the seas. Food & Entertainment: Food was mediocre and repetitive with very few choices. It was better on the other RCL ships. Entertainment was mediocre as well and the movies being shown were repetitive (Spiderman-2 all seven days?...phew!!) . Better entertainment on other RCL ships. Ports: Excellent ports and RCL did a good job on the port excursions. Enough time spent at the ports Departure: Took a tour of San Juan on the last day before being dropped off at the airport. The tour was short and not enough time was given to us to explore the various shops and streets. Perhaps this can be improved. Overall: I would definitely recommend this cruise and would do it again if RCL made some changes to the entertainment and food.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We sailed on Adventure of the Seas over Christmas week (Dec 22-29). This was our second cruise on the Adventure, as we had done the other itinerary (San Juan-St. Marteen-Antigua-St. Lucia-Barbados) in February. This itinerary was St. ... Read More
We sailed on Adventure of the Seas over Christmas week (Dec 22-29). This was our second cruise on the Adventure, as we had done the other itinerary (San Juan-St. Marteen-Antigua-St. Lucia-Barbados) in February. This itinerary was St. Thomas-St. Kitts-Aruba-Curacao. Embarkation was simple. From San Juan, we didn’t set sail until 8:30 pm, but were able to check in and board around 1 pm, which gave us a full afternoon to explore the ship, set up My Time dining, schedule spa treatments, etc. An important note on checking in: There was a duty free store at the terminal, and we were allowed to purchase 2 bottles of wine or champagne to take on board with us and keep in our cabin – a first on Royal Caribbean for us! They also sold airplane-sized liquors, and although we didn’t purchase any, we saw other passengers who did and were able to take them on board as well. (The store was inside the terminal, so your bags will have already gone through the security checkpoint.) We were in cabin 9510, a D2 Superior Oceanview Balcony cabin on the starboard (right) side, about mid-ship. Being mid-ship, we felt very little of the ship’s movement, even on the one night that we had bigger seas and lots of wind. You can feel some vibration from the engines, but not enough to be a bother. This would be more noticeable on lower decks, I’m sure. We have sailed with RCCL numerous times, and as always, the crew was outstanding. Our stateroom attendant took great care of us. We used My Time dining, but requested the same table every night, so we had the same waiter/assistant waiter and were able to establish a friendship with them even though we ate at different times. We chose to eat in the Windjammer 3 nights, just so we could go at our leisure and not have to change clothes for dinner. The food was average in both the dining room and Windjammer – not the top quality we have learned to expect on a cruise. But we don’t cruise for the food, so we were not too disappointed. We were a bit disappointed in the sushi in the Windjammer – on previous cruises there was a variety to choose from. On this cruise, there were the same 3 each time, and they were more like California rolls than real sushi with fresh fish….not sure why they made this change. As for the ports – We explored on our own (no excursions). In St. Thomas we shopped at Trident Jewelers – a family owned business we’ve known about for years. Ask for Mac – he’s the manager and will treat you well. Going through a small business rather than Diamonds International (which RCCL will recommend), we’ve found that you get better service and less pressure to buy. They are also very willing to help if you have a challenge with jewelry you buy. St. Kitts – I’m not sure why RCCL stops on this island. The town itself was depressing. We walked through town and went past the small tourist area into the local shopping area…love to do this to get a better idea of what it’s like living on the island. We stayed on the island for only a couple of hours and then headed back to the ship. Maybe an excursion would have been better. Aruba – Aruba was as beautiful as we expected. At the recommendation of a local business owner, we caught the public bus and headed to Arashi beach, near the lighthouse. It was a beautiful beach to sunbathe and swim, but there are no restroom facilities or restaurants (although there was a snack truck). You can rent beach chairs for $10. The bus runs every 30 minutes or so. Palm and Eagle Beach were beautiful but much more crowded…and closer to shops & restaurants and more options such as sailing/windsurfing lessons. However, we were in Aruba the day after Christmas, so a lot of the shops were closed. There is a nice shopping area at the pier, so we were able to pick some things up there. Try Iguana Joe’s for some local beer. Note: If you want to see the lighthouse, take the bus or a taxi. The excursions are expensive, and the buses we saw drive to the lighthouse only stayed for a few minutes. Curacao is a much larger island than Aruba and beautiful. The colorful houses make it an idyllic setting and the Dutch influence is very prominent. We didn’t book any excursions, but found a local tour company called Casper Tours (we met Casper himself). This was a two-hour tour of the island for $15 each and included stops at the Curacao distillery, a beautiful overlook of Table mountain, and a very small & crowded beach (where you could choose to stay and return later in the afternoon). It doesn’t sound like much, but the information about the island’s history and sights to see were worth the time & money. You can find Casper tours just on the far side of the swinging bridge going into town to shop. Also, check out the floating markets to see how the locals get their produce and fruits – it’s all brought in daily on boats because Curacao doesn’t grow any of its own! On our last night onboard, a young man jumped overboard. It was impressive to see how the Captain and crew responded. The reaction time was immediate…buoys were immediately deployed to mark the spot and track the current’s drift line. We had turned the ship around and got back to the buoys in less than an hour. Two skiffs were sent out to search as well as search lights from the ship. They continued to search for hours even after the Coast Guard had sent a cutter and helicopter. Although the ship had to continue to San Juan after searching most of the night, the Coast Guard continued throughout the next day. The man was never found, but our thanks go to the crew and the Coast Guard for their diligence in searching. And our prayers continue to go out for the young man’s family.   Read Less
Sail Date December 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
This was a family trip. Myself and my husband and my sister and her husband and their (adult) son. Except for the son, the rest of us are over 50. This was the first cruise that we all did that had a pretty aggressive list of port ... Read More
This was a family trip. Myself and my husband and my sister and her husband and their (adult) son. Except for the son, the rest of us are over 50. This was the first cruise that we all did that had a pretty aggressive list of port visits. I will describe our trip in three categories: The good, the bad and the ugly. THE GOOD: Ship was in ship-shape. All the public spaces were in great condition including the staterooms. Nothing threadbare. The food was fantastic. The wait-staff were well seasoned. We booked the 'Mystery dinner theater at Portofino's'. The mystery was hokey (but fun). The company (others at our table) was delightful and overall it was worth the $60/person charge as the champagne and wine flowed freely as part of the package. The Tiramisu dessert packaged in a dark/white chocolate swirl cup was awesome! We booked one shore excursion (we're cheap). It was a beach trip to Orient beach on St. Marteens. It was very well coordinated. Our hostess was delightful, very informative about the island, the beach and various bits of information and made sure that we all got back on the bus to return to the ship. We sincerely regret not booking beach trips on the other islands. Though we did enjoy exploring Barbados, one of the stops, on our own. Some of the other islands were pretty depressed areas once you get beyond the main tourist shopping areas. Better to go to the beach. The New Years celebration was totally the best!!! We celebrated on the Promenade which included unlimited champagne, balloon drop and the cruise director AND ships captain doing the countdown. This so beats going to any other (northern) New Year's celebration where you have to stand in the cold. The ship shows were really good. The best was Beetlemania! I would have spent a friggin' fortune to see this show on land! It truly was a wow! I've been on other RC cruises with the ice rink and AOC ice show was ho-hum. Nice and worth seeing but ho-hum. THE BAD: Our stateroom attendant was overbearing and self-serving (her only goal was to beg us to give her an excellent review so she could get her bonus). We were surprised to find a pair of men's briefs in one of the drawers. She obviously didn't check all the drawers in the stateroom in prep of our arrival. I have a feeling she won't be around very long. RC is generally very good about stateroom service. THE UGLY: For us nothing. It was a totally awesome trip and we will continue to cruise RC. We did have breakfast with another couple who had booked their cruise while they were on a prior cruise and booked the special romantic package. RC dropped the ball and did not provide the perks of the romantic package and couldn't find their original booking info when the couple complained. The help desk was not very helpful to them and apparently were not very pleasant to these poor folks. Sadly, their customer-no-service lost them two repeat customers. My experience with the help desk was very positive and this included that hectic last day where everyone had questions about their bill, myself included. They had a floater who went up and down the line working to solve problems. And magically (the guy was good!) the line went from 30 people to 6 who actually had questions requiring help desk help. I was therefore in line for only less than 10 min and my question concerning my bill was quickly and satisfactorily answered. Rosietomato Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
It seems to us that the lower your cruise ship class is the lower the service. We have decided that in the future we will not cruise anything lower than freedom class as the service we received was not what we have been used to with RCCL. ... Read More
It seems to us that the lower your cruise ship class is the lower the service. We have decided that in the future we will not cruise anything lower than freedom class as the service we received was not what we have been used to with RCCL. Our cabin attendant did not want to be there and pretty much told us that. It was great that RCCL allowed us to bring our own wine on board but it was very frustrating trying to get an ice bucket and some wine glasses. There was some type of coming of age party/gathering by a great number of families for their daughters and although the young girls were all beautiful in their gowns and such it was a bit overwhelming for the rest of the passengers. Loved our balcony but on a couple of nights had to stay in our cabin due to the strong odor of what seemed like marijuana. We were disappointed with Johnny Rockets as we went there for lunch, the sign in the window said they would open at 12 noon and we could see staff inside who could also see us, we waited until 12:20 only to be told by a passing crew member that it didn't open until 2:00. No worries we would just head down to the windjammer but it leaves the question why didn't the staff inside come out and inform us that the posted hours were incorrect? The ship itself is in fine shape considering it is almost due for refit. The remaining staff were all excellent and the new menu in the dining room was fabulous. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
We arrived in SJU on Saturday and we were booked into 2 hotels due to issues. Caribe Hilton and the El San Juan. We are dinner at a Tapanyaki restaurant at the El San Juan. Better restaurants in the El San Juan vs Caribe. Arrived ... Read More
We arrived in SJU on Saturday and we were booked into 2 hotels due to issues. Caribe Hilton and the El San Juan. We are dinner at a Tapanyaki restaurant at the El San Juan. Better restaurants in the El San Juan vs Caribe. Arrived around 12:30 and dropped off luggage. Was told it would be there in 2 hours. It arrived in 3 and we were able to unpack prior to the life boat drill. Other family didn't get their suitcases until 8pm. I am not sure if it was because we were on deck 2 vs. deck 7. Embarkation was long. I stood in the line for priority "Diamond/Emerald" status. The person put you in other lines. I stood in a line with 2 people in front of me. The person checking in must not have had correct paperwork or something since it took forever. Nor do I think she had priority status. I felt you were just put in a line. The other family had 2 separate check ins and finished before the person in front of me got to the desk. I made a comment and was told the ship didn't sail till 8. I said yes I know that but our group had checked in and we wanted to do a group picture which didn't happen. It took me about 25-30 min to check in. Lifeboat drill went on without a hitch. We had early seating dinner. When we got on board we saw our party was on 2 different levels for seating at 2 tables. We went immediately to the main dining room to get it changed. We were put at a table that was crowded. Our head waiter saw the issue and I walked up to him and explained. The next night he moved us to another table where we had more room. Rooms: they were set up as a couple. My sister had 3 in a room and needed the beds separated and the other pulled down. Our connecting door wasn't open. My cabin had the beds together also but my niece and I kept them together. My sister said they should know know how to set the rooms by the reservation. Isn't someone checking this out? Photography - Photography was bad. Pictures were not centered and they charged the same amount for a 5x7 as a 8x10. Photographer came around the table each night and after 10 cruises we didn't want singles. He made a remark which I didn't find amusing. My BIL asked how his day was and then was told this long dissertation about how he bartended the crews party and got in a fight with someone and only had 3 hours of sleep and on and on. Totally uncalled for. When we got off the ship they pounce on you to take a picture. I wasn't feeling well and told them but they just don't listen. Also they had a sailors cap they were putting on people. My niece who is a germaphobe said that grossed her out. Pictures of the last dressy night were not put up until 2nd seating the night before we were leaving. My niece asked about 5x7 instead of 8x10 picture of her and her sister. She was told no and bought it and then her Mom told her yes they can do it. My other sister bought a table photo and had extra copies made. She was told it would be ready at 11. My niece went down at 10:45 and the workers had no clue. She came to the room about 11:30 with no pictures. Nothing was ready. She said people were yelling where are my pictures and wanting refunds. People were cutting in line and the workers did nothing to say please go to the end of the line. Announcements - We were usually at breakfast by 7:45. Towards the end of the trip did we hear the Captain say "good morning" etc like they have in the past on other ships or the same ship. Was disappointed. No announcements of BINGO BINGO BINGO taking place. They had mixing drinks and some other thing going on the deck when we were at sea. They said there is cha cha lessons inside but felt they would have had a bigger crowd if they did it by the pool. People will always come up. The last 2 years I bought the "Make A Wish" tee shirts. This year they had it up and no one knew it was going on. I didn't even think they did the walk around the deck. No announcements were made saying come and get your tee shirts. Entertainment - Trivia was either at 5 or 8. We could never do the 5 since we had dinner at 6. Felt there wasn't stuff to do after 8. Everything happened after 10 which we didn't stay up for. They had Suduko at 10:30 most days but we were already at the beach. Unexpected Boys were great. We did the welcome show to see the comedian which started at 10:15. By 10:50 he still wasn't on so we got up and left. Cruise Director was annoying and not funny at all. Same jokes just different lines by him. Saw "El Gaucho" before so had no desire to see that act again. I heard the female comedian was good but didn't go to the show. Onboard Shopping: As a retail person this needs help. So much potential could be had. My niece said they should have a "candy" store where you can buy candy etc. Book selection on the ship was terrible if you wanted to buy a book. Suites seating on deck: Someone pointed out whey don't they have cushions on their chairs? Why isn't there seating for Diamond/Diamond Plus and above on the ship. We had seats early that morning but the ship didn't seem very crowded. Johnny Rockets - totally disappointed. We got there about 12:15 and by 1:20 still didn't have food. It took half and hour to get our shakes. We had 3 people who were getting massages at 2 and had to leave without food due to how late it was. I guess a cook and the milkshake maker didn't show up. The manager came by and apologized that no one told us what was going on. We were credited the amount. The ranch dressing that is served with the fries was so watered down. It looked like which water and totally unappetizing. Windjammer - people were friendly. Our asst waiter took our egg order daily. We said it would be nice to have a ice cream machine in the windjammer closer to the cookies. No one wants to walk completely outside to get it especially when you are sitting all the way in the back of the WJ. Was nice when waiters asked what beverage could they get you. Dining Room - Our waiter - Joseph and our Asst Waiter Paola were great. We kept asking to get more bread from Paola. Bar Staff - the girls in the Champagne bar are awesome. We were up there every night before dinner. They knew us by name and were extremely friendly. The young man in the Casino bar was also very friendly and had a good time there after dinner. Debarkation - we went to deck 4 for the priority departure for Diamond/Emerald. We were told at 8:15 we would be leaving in 5 min. That was more like 15. No issues getting off but we had trouble finding our luggage for neon green #39 and #69. Caught a private bus to the Caribe where we had a day rate room till we left for our late afternoon flight. Instead of going to Dominica it would have been nice to be overnight in St. Maarten. Also we were told they were not getting a refund when the price dropped on cabins. We did get a ship credit last year. We decided not to book our Annual cruise on the ship for next year and will wait to get the lower prices. We don't like the itinerary for the Adventure. We heard the ship is going in for overhaul in 2014. It can't come soon enough. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
I have come to the conclusion that RCI are the most inward looking company I have ever dealt wit, their quest for profit comes above all else. Let me explain: Things went wrong before we even got to the cruise. They more or less insist ... Read More
I have come to the conclusion that RCI are the most inward looking company I have ever dealt wit, their quest for profit comes above all else. Let me explain: Things went wrong before we even got to the cruise. They more or less insist that you log in on line and print off your cruise booklet and order baggage tags. To do this you need a special log in that RCI are supposed to send you 14 days before the cruise. We had to call our travel agent to get the log in as none had come via email, as had been promised. We ordered baggage tags but none came. I phoned a week before the cruise but was told it was too late to reorder. No baggage tags then. We flew to Malaga from Gatwick, upon arrival we went to the coach, which was waiting for us. The RCI rep took our cruise brochure from us, tore out a page and handed the remains back to us. We got on the coach and were swiftly taken to the docks to embark. The queue was huge but there were lots of agents so we got to one pretty quickly. We gave her our cruise booklet but she said she could not check us in because the page torn out by her colleague was missing. When I tried to explain what had happened she was quite rude and abrupt and thrust a form at me to fill in. It had all the information that I had spent some time filling in on line. She then needed my credit card, even though I had already registered that on line. It was now about 13:30, we had been traveling since 3 am, we were hungry and tired, I was not impressed!!! We headed straight for the Windjammer where we had a pretty decent lunch and then made our way to our cabin. The cabin was well laid out with lots of storage but boy was it looking tired. The ship is 10 years old and it really looks it in places. Things like a well rusted waste bin and a filthy toilet seat spoiled the overall effect. Right from the word go everything seemed to be about extracting the maximum amount of money from their guests. We had paid gratuities up front but soon discovered that 15 % got added to everything anyway. Everything on board was at sky high prices, the cost of drinks seemed to put most people off drinking altogether. It really was a rip of culture - 2 examples: Price of massage advertised at from $139 - 2 people went as a couple and ended up with a $510 bill plus a $5 gratuity!!! On the day we went to Lanzarote they were selling 500ml bottles of water for $4.95 then telling people that on land they would be over$6. Utter rubbish - any supermarket will sell you one for under a euro. It's one thing to rip people off but quite another when you start lying to them as well. One thing that really got to me is on the last evening we tried to find somewhere for a reasonably quite drink, all the public areas were full to bursting. We went to the sports bar and asked for a Bacardi and diet Coke only to be told they had no Bacardi. OK says I, just a diet Coke then. They didn't have any of that either. Unbelievable, they go to all that effort to empty your wallet then run out of the basics. Be wary if they offer you freshly squeezed orange juice at breakfast, they will charge you for it, same as they will charge for a "speciality coffee" after dinner. Look, RCI if you are going to charge me - tell me up front, otherwise I will feel like I have been conned. Be very careful of what they sell in the shops too. If you go for a quite drink you will have the peace shattered by somebody shouting sales messages over a pa system, it's like being in a market. They were trying to sell cheap Chinese watch sets at 20 bucks, the same stuff our local market sells at a quarter of that. The other thing you need to be aware of that RCI have not cottoned on to yet is that when you fly these days any toiletries of over 100ml will be confiscated at the airport if they are in you hand baggage. Given that many people may want to freshen up as soon as they are on board I am guessing that many people may carry some bits and pieces on with them. RCI do not put any toiletries in the cabins except for a small bar of soap. I find this astonishing. I have travelled all over the world and stayed in the best and the worst of hotels, B&B's guest houses and cruise ships and this is the first time I have ever gone to my room to find no toiletries. To make matters worse not one shop had any shampoo for sale, we had to buy some in Tenerife. Come on RCI, at least stock the essentials or give "pamper packs" like all the other cruise lines do. The ship has some great areas, the food was pretty good although teh steak on the first nigh was inedible, the mash was always so salty that most people left it and in general it was nowhere near the standards we are used to on P&O or Cunard. We won't be going RCI again, we will be going back to P&O where we will get much better value for money and be with a company that cares as much about teh customer experience as they care about profit. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
I am going to make two reviews for this cruise. One as an 'adult' couple travelling and the other one based on travelling with our children and grandchildren. Review 2 has already been published! Two years ago we took a 5 ... Read More
I am going to make two reviews for this cruise. One as an 'adult' couple travelling and the other one based on travelling with our children and grandchildren. Review 2 has already been published! Two years ago we took a 5 night Mediterranean cruise with RCI out of Malaga on the Navigator of the Seas. This time we did a 4 night short cruise to Portugal on Adventure of the Seas. I have to say how sorry I am to see the drop in standards and quality in such a short period. Embarkation was simple and well organised as last time and we were on board and having lunch in the Windjammer by 12.30. Ground staff at Mlaga port were very helpful. Disembarkation was equally good with my request for a later time being given with no problems at all. Cabins were ready by the time we had finished lunch so we went down to start unpacking. The suitcase hadn't arrived by quite late and despite asking several people and I eventually had to go and find it. I did this because everyone else in the party had theirs and I thought mine may have been left behind. Happily it hadn't. The cabin was fine and very clean and was well looked after during the cruise by our attendant. On arrival the balcony was all wet and the chairs and little table had not been dried so you couldn't sit out there whilst waiting for the cases. I didn't take shampoo, body lotions etc as last time these were supplied in the cabin - sadly no longer! The cabin steward was very nice and found some for me the next day. There would have been no problem to take my own had I known about it before. Also shame we only got 'towel animals' one night - I really liked that touch on the last cruise. The ship generally is in good condition and kept very clean. Lifts were always very busy so walked the stairs most of the time. As we were with the family we didn't get to see the shows but the ice show, which we all went to, was excellent (missed that on Navigator). Played in the casino one evening and broke even which was good. Spent some time in the lobby bar and danced a bit to Azucar Band which we enjoyed. Many of the areas on the ship are split into smoking on one side and no smoking on the other. This is something that some other reviewers may not be aware of. Whilst dancing on the no smoking area of the dance floor, two people with cigarettes in hand, came and started dancing. They were very quickly told by members of the band to move to the other section which was for smokers. I had no problems with cigarette smoke during the cruise (and I'm a very sensitive reformed non smoker!!) and it wasn't even too bad in the casino. The Spanish people on the cruise were very nice and certainly not rude or pushy. In fact the only time I was pushed a bit was in the Windjammer by a British lady. There was certainly no pushing or shoving in the lifts or anywhere else that I saw. Bearing in mind it was a Spanish bank holiday weekend and Halloween, the majority of people on the ship were probably Spanish. I loved the fact that dress codes were adhered to and on Formal night there was some very beautifully dressed people walking around and lots of people in amazing Halloween costumes (and I'm not just talking children here!!) For me the biggest disappointment was the food in the Main Dining Room. 2 years ago we came home raving about the food, how hot it always was, the quality, the choice, and the great service. Sadly the same could not be said on this cruise. The food was generally tepid, bland and choices were more limited. Some evenings we struggled to find something to order and ended up with the good old Sirloin steak standby. There was a beef dish each evening, which members of our table ordered on different evenings, which was basically the same dish with a different name. Very little fish options but must say the desserts were great. Did however miss the Baked Alaska on formal night dinner. Our waiter was actually a bit sad. He seemed to have problems with whatever we wanted to order if it had even the slightest deviation from the menu item. I actually decided in the end that maybe he just didn't understand English very well. Constantly reminding him of my daughter's seafood allergy seemed to confuse him. She also doesn't eat nuts -â€" which we told him -â€" and when the cheese cake arrived covered in nuts we asked him 'Are those nuts on top?' His reply was yes and then he just walked away!! No, 'Is there a problem, would you like something else or one without nuts!' On the plus side, Oscar his assistant, did everything possible to help us within his limited capacity. We had a 7 bottle wine package booked but it always took quite a while to get the previous night's unfinished bottle - once the waiter finally understood there should be some left or to get a new bottle to the table. Also there was only a buffet option in the Main Dining Room at lunch time which is a shame as I really believe you need a proper alternative to the Windjammer buffet which was always crazy busy. In the Windjammer the food was fairly standard buffet. Plenty of choice and nice desserts, but the floor staff were not very helpful and unless you wanted to buy drinks, didn't seemed very interested in anything you needed. On the disembarkation morning they had obviously run low on orange juice and actually served it watered down! Personally it would be better to have said 'sorry we've run out'. Last impressions, like first impressions are remembered. In general I would say that there were not too many happy and smiling crew members on this cruise. Although the staff at Guest Relations were always helpful and smiling, as was our cabin steward. Weather was lovely. General facilities and activities were plentiful with things to suite all ages and tastes. Appreciated the Crown and Anchor discount voucher book. We were docked overnight in Lisbon. The area where the ship docked was awful with no direction signs to the town centre. There was a RCI shuttle service into the centre which cost $6 each way, so if you were a family and wanted to go there both days...... There was a nicer docking area right near the main square (saw some other big ships there) and if RCI couldn't get docked there then the shuttle should either have been complimentary or at least 50% cheaper. It was also a long way away. We took a bus to the main square but decided to walk back and it took us 90 minutes! (just as well we like walking!). Our 3rd time back in Lisbon and have to say it's a very nice place visit. Gibraltar was better. Well signed for directions to town and just a 15 minute walk away. If this review sounds a bit negative it's because I believe if you're not honest the review serves no purpose. All in all, we had a really nice break away and I would not discount travelling on Adventure of the Seas again. Just that next time I would go with lower expectations. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
I travelled on the Adventure of the Seas departing from Valencia. Booking experience: The booking experience was very good, I was particularly impressed with cruise.co.uk who I have never used before, but will certainly use again. ... Read More
I travelled on the Adventure of the Seas departing from Valencia. Booking experience: The booking experience was very good, I was particularly impressed with cruise.co.uk who I have never used before, but will certainly use again. Stuart my cruise consultant gave me the best price immediately when I called (other companies would quote high and you would have to negotiate prices/ discounts which I don't like) The fact cruise.co.uk offer the best price immediately was refreshing so I decided to book. My cruise from Valencia was a new thing Royal Caribbean were trying called 'inter porting'. This meant that the week cruise had two 'pick up' ports and ours was the second. Because of this, we were unable to prebook anything with the cruise line company before traveling (excursions, spa, drinks packages) which was a little annoying. I raised this with RC direct and they are 'working on it'. The Ship The ship is 10 years old, and apart from the slightly dated style in some areas, was immaculate. I found all public areas to be impressive and enjoyed the general ambiance. The promenade was impressive too! Dining/ Bars The dining and bars were generally good. I was most impressed with the main dining room (and feel this was better than the Portofino Restaurant (extra charge)). Our waiter Lynel and assistant waiter Georgie were outstanding. Their service was probably the best service we have ever experienced and made our dining experience extra special. Food was also consistently delicious. The champagne bar was nice (I recommend the flirtini!) Entertainment The entertainment was a little bit of a let down. Although the ice show and the murder mystery dinner were great, the ship didn't seem to have any big/ good shows. The guest act 'The Gauchos' were THE worst thing I have ever seen. If i had access to some rotten tomatoes, they WOULD have been thrown haha! The cabin I felt the cabin (although dated in decor) was immaculately clean and well maintained. Our cabin was number 1388 and was a 'restricted view'. The balcony was HUGE and had a metal girder in the middle. This is why it was classed as restricted view- but meant we had much more space and had two sun loungers, two chairs and a table. Really impressed with the space. Overall I would travel RCI again. I think next time I would try their newer ships or their Celebrity brand. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Cruise Critic My wife and I have just returned from an RCL seven day Med cruise aboard Adventure of the Seas. We had a great time, the Adventure is a beautiful ship with the trademark RCL main street and our cabin was one of the best ... Read More
Cruise Critic My wife and I have just returned from an RCL seven day Med cruise aboard Adventure of the Seas. We had a great time, the Adventure is a beautiful ship with the trademark RCL main street and our cabin was one of the best we've encountered in nearly 20 years of cruising. Having been upgraded we took full advantage of the extra space a suite provides albeit with a very small and sheltered balcony. The food in the Mozart restaurant was stunning, no need to spend extra in the Portafina and 99% of the staff were warm, friendly and very efficient (amazing how the 1% can spoil a cruise but more of that later). The embarkation procedure was well organised, we didn't use the shore excursions but instead spent time in the spa which was excellent. The guest entertainers were great (a Motown tribute act and a troop of Flamenco dancers). The production shows were rather bland but special credit should go to all the sound and lighting technicians as the Ice Show and theatre shows were greatly enhanced by their skills. At the end of the cruise we'd both had a thoroughly enjoyable and relaxing time, and at a price we felt was good value for the initial out-lay. However we will probably not cruise with RCL again. Why? Firstly, there was an instruction in the daily paper (The Compass) for "no shorts" etc etc in the restaurant at dinner. It's a shame the rule is not upheld. Getting dressed up in evening wear is something we like to do - the atmosphere is somewhat then spoiled when sitting next to people in the restaurant wearing t-shirts, shorts and flip flops. This lack of 'observing the rules' was brought to a head (pun intended) on our last morning when a crew member in a very abrupt manner asked me to remove my hat at the breakfast buffet (no mention of head apparel in The Compass). However, the main reason for not returning to RCL is the ship's policy on smoking. Over the last few years we have found on many cruise ships a designated bar for smokers plus smoking permitted in the Casino (if gamblers want to risk their health as well as their money so be it). However on Adventure it was the other way around. One tiny bar for non-smokers (with no entertainment) and smoking allowed in all other areas (except thank goodness the restaurants and the theatre). We would have liked to enjoy the musicians in the many bars; this was impossible in the evening 'fog'. The dangers of passive smoking have been well documented and it seems RCL are now set on contributing to one of the world's most common causes of death. I don't think a life threatening disease can be caught by standing next to someone wearing a hat. On the other hand passengers, bar staff and entertainers are being asked to risk their health in an environment which is constantly being advertised as fun (cough), healthy (cough), relaxing (cough), full of sunshine (cough) and thoroughly enjoyable for everyone on board (cough cough). Come on RCL, the world's leading nations have got it right - smoking should be banned in public places. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Having read the typical cruise review, I felt I needed to add our views to help prospective cruisers decide to try Adventure of the Seas. My friend and I returned to Adventure of the seas after a taster the year before and because the ... Read More
Having read the typical cruise review, I felt I needed to add our views to help prospective cruisers decide to try Adventure of the Seas. My friend and I returned to Adventure of the seas after a taster the year before and because the western med was such a fab list of ports. We had the pleasure of staying in a fab cabin near the library, with a balcony so we say every sunrise and sunset in style. We visited,Velencia,Rome, Florence, Pisa and Corsica and we met just fabulous friendly people both english, irish, spanish on our cruise. We were royally entertained every evening and we drank cocktails, champagne and saw topclass entertainment. We say staff going the extra mile to make our stay as wonderful as they could,we could not have asked for more. For Royal Carribean it is worth considering your drinks prices, people were buying lessin the bars and clubs and making the drinks go further because of the high cost, so from a commercial point of view, lowering the costs of drinks just a little will enable people to relax and enjoy your bars more. We had fantastic night out t the Murder Mystery and Johnie Rockets is not to be missed. IT was so good that I am returning again in September 2012 to do it all gain, in the same cabin and the same ports of call. I fell inlove with Italy and will Florence in particular. Thank you Royal Carribean it was outstanding. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Let me start by stating that i had a wonderful time on board the Adventure of the Seas. Had a slight delay during embarkation because staff were unaware of which Caribbean Islands needed visa to enter Europe but after that it was smooth ... Read More
Let me start by stating that i had a wonderful time on board the Adventure of the Seas. Had a slight delay during embarkation because staff were unaware of which Caribbean Islands needed visa to enter Europe but after that it was smooth sailing. The ship, event though its one of the oldest in the fleet is still beautifully decorated with a wonderful theme. Dining: Dining experience was satisfactory with plenty of choices in the WindJammer restaurant. The Portofino maintained its true Italian high standards and did not disappoint. Drinks are very expensive and i believe a happy hour or two for one special on specific days could benefit the cruise line as passengers are likely to drink more on these occasions Entertainment: The highlight and the downfall of this cruise for me was the quality and apparent mismanagement of the entertainment provided on board. Elements Duo, was by far the most versatile band on board and entertained all sectors of the guests spectrum. Excellent on the pool deck and even more versatile during their performances in either of the lounges. They even offered musical renditions in several languages. Their performances should be rostered to include daily performances on the pool deck and a set lounge performance. It was noticed that when broadcasts were made on board regarding daily entertainment , this group's time and place of performance was never mentioned. Everyone i spoke to thoroughly enjoyed all of their performances and were treated to several extra time performances. The stage shows in the Lyric Theatre that i attended were not of the high standard is expected having been on other cruises. The Variety show on the final night at sea was disappointing apart from a few seconds of skill displayed by the Argentinian performers. New n innovated ideas r need to provide guests with unique entertainment during the daylight hours. When in port local guest entertainers can be used to provide that instead of the "same ole same ole" games which only interrupt the live entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
Pre Cruise: I arrived on Friday into San Juan and took a taxi to the Caribe Hilton. The hotel is beautiful but felt it was very overpriced. The weather was clear and sunny on Friday. Friday night there was a 5.4 earthquake. The service ... Read More
Pre Cruise: I arrived on Friday into San Juan and took a taxi to the Caribe Hilton. The hotel is beautiful but felt it was very overpriced. The weather was clear and sunny on Friday. Friday night there was a 5.4 earthquake. The service in the hotel restaurants was very slow and over priced. Small offering of restaurants on Friday evening and the same on Saturday. Yes I understand it was Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Cruise: We took a cab from the hotel about 12:30 and arrived at the ship. Our travel agent ordered our luggage tags but my sister ordered them online which was easy to do. It seemed a little disorganized but I saw a holder stating - Platinum Members luggage drop off. We all dropped off our luggage at that spot and then got the piece of paper that you had to fill out if you had been sick etc. Why can't they send it prior so you are not trying to find a pen quickly. We went through security which we had no issues. Got in line for the Platinum and checked in pretty quickly and got on board. The weather on Sunday was not that great to lay out so we sat by the bar and then went down to the room to shower and change and wait for our luggage. The luggage came later than when we were on the Serenade in 2006-2009. My sister gave the room steward some money - and voila our bags were there. We went into dinner the first night and was disappointed at how slow the service was. One of the "red" coats maitr'd told us to leave so they can get ready for the next night. Gee that wasn't our fault service was slow. My sister was very nice and went and talked with another maitr'd and the service was better the next night (we had 3 tables of 8). He hovered to make sure everything was ok but never came and said how is everything. I didnt even bother handing in my ticket to him due to that fact. I felt some were just there to do a job and that was that. How boring is that - why not make the best of it - better service = better tips and so much fun for all. It even took awhile for the bar service to catch on that they can make bigger tips since we would order about 17 shots every night. What a miss on their part. We had a great bartender on the Adventure when we went 04-05. Entertainment - I felt the entertainment was bad. No "special" entertainment like we have had in the past. If felt like after dinner there wasn't much in entertainment. Who heard of ice carving at 11 pm??????? We were disappointed in this cruise and the state of the ship. Friends of ours had a balcony room and the wood on the balcony needed touch ups - it had scrapes of it chipping. The "towels" idea needs to be refigured. My sister was charged $20 for a towel that she returned. It was easier to have them in the room. I understand people leaving them on the beach etc and it costs the cruise line money. If there are 2 people in the room - leave 2 towels. If they are not back that night in the room then CHARGE them. Seems alot easier. Stores on board: Disappointed in the apparel choices as always. Why can't they offer pads of paper with the RCCL logo on it. What about dish towels with the logo on it. The weather was fair. One day we had lots of rain in St Kitts. Dominica we did a private tour of the waterfalls. We had 2 vans since there was 23 of us. The tour was great - the walk to the "warmer" waterfalls was very hard and a little scary since it was raining and somewhat slippery. Again the tour guys held our hands and helped us down. Boy I had trouble sitting down the next day. It needs to have strenuous noted in there. Barbados - what can I say! It is one of our favorite islands. St. Croix - first time there and we booked chairs at this hotel. Later it got very crowded when we were leaving. St Thomas was our usual Sapphire Beach and then back to the beach. We have booked next year on the same ship but hope that it is fixed up! We were very disappointed in the islands when we booked on the ship. We even looked at the Celebrity ships but didn't like the islands. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
A cruise is what you make it, so we had a marvelous time. We met a lot of great people and achieved our desire to get away from it all and to relax. Having cruised with Princess three times we had an idea of what to expect. We were ... Read More
A cruise is what you make it, so we had a marvelous time. We met a lot of great people and achieved our desire to get away from it all and to relax. Having cruised with Princess three times we had an idea of what to expect. We were of the understanding that Royal Caribbean is a step up from Princess, but we didn't find that to be true. In fact, given the choice to cruise again, we'd lean towards going with Princess over Royal Caribbean. The cruise entertainment director was incredible. Other entertainment staff lacked enthusiasm. The country western line dancing class was Latin instead. The instructor said he didn't know how to do country and western line dancing. The class was a very brief 15 minutes. The same instructor was supposed to teach a poolside class on Christmas day. Small groups of people stood in front of the stage waiting to begin. He made several announcements about the event and then left the stage. I guess we were supposed to tap him on the shoulder and tell him we wanted to dance? Eventually we left. We had one day of rain when a wine tasting was scheduled. We had checked the price the night before and was told it would be $10. Because it was raining, we elected to stay on the ship and attend the wine tasting. Unfortunately when the doors opened the rate had changed to $30 for a special Bordeaux wine tasting. Everyone left and 15 minutes later, a glance into the room showed the event had not happened. Too bad, it was raining and people were looking for something to do. Trivia events were quick 15 minute deals. Maintenance on the ship done two mornings at 8:15 A.M. Lots of banging on pipes which came through loud and clear. Inside cabin: The couch was a nice touch, but was wasted space. I would not recommend Royal Caribbean's interior room for 3 people. Shopping experts new their stuff and were very helpful. Restrooms were kept very clean, especially on our day at sea! Nice fitness room, lots of equipment. No need to wait. Plenty of poolside chairs. Well patrolled by staff too. That was a definite plus for Royal Caribbean. Princess has had a lot of issues with lack of chairs and chair saving. Missed the continuous buffets. Royal Caribbean had the small promenade eating area for off times, but there was little selection. DON'T buy a milkshake from Ben & Jerry's on the promenade. Where's the ice cream? Bottom line, a cruise is what you make it, but if you're looking for lots of little fun things to do besides sitting at the pool on days at sea, find another ship or cruise line. The staff leading these events lack enthusiasm and commitment. I'm not sure that a first time cruiser on this ship would have a true representation of what cruises are all about. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Before I dive in, just want to take a moment to thank all of you trip-report-writers. Your reports were an invaluable asset in planning our vacation. Thank you so very much for taking the time to share your experiences. WHAT WE ... Read More
Before I dive in, just want to take a moment to thank all of you trip-report-writers. Your reports were an invaluable asset in planning our vacation. Thank you so very much for taking the time to share your experiences. WHAT WE LIKED Overall, my husband and I really enjoyed our News Years' cruise on Royal Carribean's Adventure of the Seas and would definitely recommend it. It wasn't the biggest, best, newest ship in the world, but it DID offer an awesome itinerary and something for everyone in our widely-diverse group. If those are your needs, then this is a great cruise for you. We loved the itinerary because every morning (except the last) found us in a new port, and at a pier (as opposed to tender) by 8:00 am. This gave us the freedom to get on and off the boat quickly and easily, and explore for a full day. Having been on 7-day cruises with 2-3 days at sea, we found this a huge plus and would look for it again! We departed from San Juan, PR on Sunday, were in St. Thomas on Monday, St. Croix on Tuesday, St. Kitts on Wednesday, Dominica (pronounced dom-in-EEE-ka) on Thursday, Barbados on Friday, and at sea on Saturday. This trip was a family vacation, generously provided by my father. As a result, our group included my dad (a gentleman in his 80's who has cruised many many times), my husband and I (a couple in our young 40s, who have been on just 4 cruises), and my sister's family (also in their 40s with four kids - ages 17, 16, 13, and 12 - on their second cruise). This ship worked well for us because the youngest enjoyed the mini golf, inline skating, rock wall and (I must include) soft-serve machine, while the teens enjoyed the freedom of hanging with their own, and the adults liked being able to retreat to the relative calm of the solarium area. We were also fortunate with the weather. The temps ranged from about 79-degrees in Puerto Rico to about 85-88 degrees in Barbados. While Puerto Rico was a most cloudy and windy, by the time we hit Barbados it was truly tropical - a real treat as the northeast got hit with 30" of snow. Previous holiday trips departing from the mainland never got us the warmth and the sun we enjoyed during this trip ... though I heard we were a bit blessed this week! Overall, we found the ship clean, the crew friendly and helpful, and the food to be 'very good.' We did not experience any of the rudeness that had been reported in some of the earlier summer posts (thought the premium price of a holiday cruise could be the cause of that), nor did I hear of any thefts or illness. I also have to thank the Christmas Cruisers, as they appear to have worked out any water issues by the time we boarded. WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE While I understand it, I did not like the new trend to offer up-sells. I don't think I should be asked to pay more to use a golf-simulator or attend a wine tasting or eat at a specialty dining room or add a cut of Filet Mignon to my menu while on my cruise; it takes a bit of the glamour out of a vacation like this when you constantly have to pay more to get the luxury experience you thought you had already paid for. I miss the shampoos/conditioners/etc. that used to be provided, chocolates on the pillow, and the midnight chocolate buffet. We ate all of our dinners in the dining room at the early seating and had very good meals... on all except the last night. Our waiter's recommendations - not the Chef recommendations - were nearly always the BEST option by far. In particular, I really enjoyed the prime rib the first night, the shrimp scampi, rack of lamb, filet and shrimp, and lobster tail dinners. The very last night was the only one in which nothing wowed me and so I went with basic salmon and it was okay. The Caesar salad was consistently good too. For appetizers, I really enjoyed the escargot and asparagus soup. Getting hungry just thinking about it all! Our waiter Boon often spoiled us by bringing out 'samples' to try before we ordered and often second dinners once he learned our tastes, so we never missed a special item. We did not attend any of the shows because none of them sounded particularly interesting - except the ice show which we missed getting tickets for. Like a previous post noted, we didn't run into any particularly great musicians in the lounges and found the few interactive games to be too short and/or canceled. That said, this didn't really disappoint us because we tended to go to bed early in order to enjoy full days. From the talk around the boat, it sounded like the best shows were the newlywed game and the ice show. What else? Oh! Flying in a day or two early - and/or buying insurance - I think is critical during winter months with unpredictable weather. My husband and I flew out of DC on the Friday before our cruise. A mechanical failure had us delayed for over 5 hours in Charlotte. The 40 passengers on our flight that were catching a cruise that day were frantic. Also, we heard over 1,000 folks missed our own boat's departure on Sunday due to snow that hit the northeast. I think they caught up to us in St. Thomas, but am not really sure. OUR DAYS/EXCURSIONS Day 0, Sun., Puerto Rico - My husband and I checked out of the Conrad hotel in Condado and went to the airport (a short 10-15 min. ride) to pick up my dad who got in at 11:00 am. Since it was a cloudy/windy day and we had bags, we went direct to the pier, even though we were told NOT to bother arriving before 2:00. We figured, if we had to wait somewhere, why not on line at the pier? Well, we got lucky - we got to the pier around 11:45 (only 20 min from the airport) and I think they started processing folks a little after 12:00 because we weren't waiting long before the line started moving. We were on board and having lunch in the Windjammer by 12:45. My sister used the afternoon to book spa visits for our dad, find our dinner table, and get the kids settled and unpacked - my husband, father and I used the afternoon to learn the location of the bars! Day 1, Mon., St. Thomas - Deep Sea Fishing with About Time Charters The one thing my father really wanted to do on this trip was go deep sea fishing with his grandsons. This is the one excursion I didn't book through the ship. Having been to St. Thomas before, I knew we could find a cheaper alternative on our own - and we did. I booked a charter for me, my husband, dad, and two nephews with About Time Charters for $600 for a ¾ day (6 hours) by calling them in advance. (ONLY hassle was that they only accept cash or travelers checks so I had to be sure to get those in advance.) We got off the ship a little before 8 - no line, no fuss, no muss - and we were the first folks to grab a cab. After a memorable, twisty-curvy 15-20 min. cab ride, we were over to Red Hook's American Yacht Harbor and out to sea a.s.a.p.! It was a GORGEOUS day! Calm seas, blue skies, soft fluffy clouds - but no fish. My youngest nephew reeled in a 12" black fin tuna and the other caught a 30" barracuda, but that was it. We actually cut the trip short to head in early because the youngest got sea sick (five times!) and we just couldn't stand to see him suffering through it! On the way back to the boat, we caught one of the $2 per person safari buses back to the pier. It was a slow ride with lots of stops but for only $2 pp, and with no time constraints, who cares??? (One of the things I hate about St. Thomas is their practice of charging taxi fares per person and so this was a pleasant alternative! Now I might actually consider going back!) While we brought the required 'picture id' with us every time we got on and off the boat, the only thing we EVER needed was our Sea Pass card. I'm sure it was good we had our IDs, but I must admit that boarding and disembarking were as easy as slipping our card in the machine! Day 2, Tues., St. Croix - SCUBA Diving with Cane Bay Dive Shop This was my favorite day of the cruise. We'd booked a two-tank wreck dive but due to some boat issues, the operator had to change the dive to a two-tank reef/wall dive with shore entry that was spectacular. They bused all of the divers over to their shop on the North shore - an easy 25 min. ride - where we discovered a wall dive just 100 ft off shore. The entry was from the beach that is located directly across the street from the dive shop and offered a pretty easy entry since seas were calm. That said, it did require a 100 ft kick-out before we dropped down but the reef was abundantly healthy and we saw a ton of hard and soft corals and wide variety of colorful reef fish. It was literally like swimming through an aquarium! The visibility was over 80 feet, the water temp was 79 degrees, the sun shined on us all day. Ahhh, heaven! The dive operation was VERY professional. As busy as they were with two boats in port, all of the equipment was handled well, briefings were thoroughly given, and groups were broken up into manageable groups of 8-9 divers per guide. All top notch! On the first dive we kicked out, then went down and traveled the wall at 60-80 feet from east to west; on the second dive went west to east and hovered mostly around 60-40 feet. I could have spent the week there! After our dives, my husband and I enjoyed a fantastic lunch at Eat (restaurant) located adjacent to the dive shop, with a view of the beach. Can't beat sitting at the bar enjoying great food with great company looking out at a beautiful beach! We stayed on the Cane Bay beach until 4:00, then caught the last shuttle back to the boat. It was a fantastic day! Day 3, Wed., St. Kitts - Sky Safari Zip Lining Wow! What another great day. When my sister texted me to ask if I would take her three kids NOT afraid of heights zip lining, I thought, "sure, no problem, did it in Cancun last year, easy!" Boy was I in for a surprise! In St. Kitts, the first of four zip lines travels ACROSS a ¼ mile line the spans two peaks, at a height of roughly 25 stories! This was a heck of lot higher then what I experienced in Cancun! The operation is situated on the site of an old sugar cane mill and is very picturesque. The guides were all wonderful and clearly seemed to be enjoying their work, which was nice. Guess I should mention that the site is technically in the rain forest so you might want to take a waterproof jacket; it rained on us once or twice, though not enough to dampen our spirits. They bus you to the tour site, get you all geared up, and then do a sample run about 10 ft off the ground so you have a chance to get comfortable with what you need to do before they take you to the top for the first run. The kids loved it and so did we - though this trip is not for the faint of heart! At the end of the tour, they take you back to the office and try and interest you in a few photos before bussing you back to the ship. While we were waiting, a local boy came by with his baby monkey so the kids got to see one up famous St. Kitts monkey's up close and personal. It was very cool - though sad to learn the monkey population is 5x that of the human population and, thus, not protected. Day 4, Thurs., Dominica -- River Tubing & Emerald Pool Adventure Okay, this was another fantastic excursion! Everyone in our group (except my dad) participated and had a blast. The river tubing has some significant rapids so this is not your lazy float down a river tubing trip. We had toyed with bringing dad and he would NOT have been up for the bouncing and bobbing experienced on this tour! The scenery in the gorge was beautiful and, like on St. Kitts, the few passing sprinkles that went through did not ruin our mostly-sunny day. At the end of the tube ride, they took us to a welcome center for rum punch, then on for another 20-30 min. ride to the national park where you hike in ¼ mile or so to the Emerald Pool. It wasn't a huge fall - they say 50 ft though I thought it looked more like 35-40 - but it was very pretty. The boys had a lot of fun climbing the rocks and getting under the falls while the girls found the water a little too cold for their tastes! It took us 30 min. to get back to the boat and so we didn't get back until around 4:00. With dinner seating at 6:00, that's just enough time to get a little hot-tub time in before needing to shower and change for dinner! Day 5, Fri., Barbados - Tiami Five Star Catamaran & Turtles This was the kids' favorite day of all - though I was really surprised they said it topped either the zip lining or tubing/waterfall day! I think the best part was that this was the one event EVERYONE got to do together! Also, this was probably the best weather day of the trip. While it sprinkled on us 2-3 times here as well, it was easily the warmest and most tropical of the islands. Everyone loved Barbados. When we got to the terminal meeting point to pick up this tour (you have to walk though a maze of shops to get to the terminal), we were told that the conditions at their normal snorkeling spot was too rough to guarantee turtle viewings so had to be changed. While not required, they offered anyone who didn't want to go a full refund which I thought was very generous of them. We didn't care - we were there for a day on a catamaran and we were not disappointed by our choice to go. In fact, it probably worked in our favor as the catamaran that normally takes 80, only had about 65 folks on board, so we had a comfortable about of space to move around in. (Can't imagine what it would have been like at capacity!) We also lucked out in that we were able to see turtles at the first stop! We had a great time snorkeling with the turtles, enjoyed a wonderful lunch on the boat, snorkeled at an okay wreck site at the second site, and then really had fun jumping off the boat MULTIPLE times and swimming to the beach at the last stop. From the beach stop, we were just a 10 min. ride back to the catamaran dock. What a great way to wrap up a year! Day 6, Sat., At Sea Spent the last day lounging pool-side. It was a bit windy at times but hot in the sun... which is just what you want on the last day of your Caribbean vacation! Day 7, Sun., Puerto Rico - Travel Day I think it took a while for the ship to get cleared upon our return because they didn't start calling the folks slated for an 8:00 am departure off until almost 9:00 and so we were all pushed back about an hour. That said, once called, exiting moved pretty quick, customs was straight forward and easy, and cabs were lined up to take you the short 20 min ride back to the airport. The weather was windy, overcast and rainy so it made it easy to wave good bye and head home. Our flight home was direct - and left on-time.... unlike the miserable, delayed-flight we had on the way IN! With the direct flight, it made me realize just how easy and convenient it is to catch a cruise out of Puerto Rico and I would definitely consider doing it again! Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Pre-Cruise: Our group flew from Miami to San Juan with out problem and caught a cab to the Marriott Stellaris Casino in Condado on Friday, Dec 24. We opted for beautiful rooms which had an incredible view of the beach and ocean... ... Read More
Pre-Cruise: Our group flew from Miami to San Juan with out problem and caught a cab to the Marriott Stellaris Casino in Condado on Friday, Dec 24. We opted for beautiful rooms which had an incredible view of the beach and ocean... Well worth the extra money for the view as the rooms all have balconies. The hotel was gorgeous, the casino was fun, the bartenders sure made some good drinks, but the restaurants at the resort were terrible. There are a lot of great food choices right outside the hotel, it is better to eat outside than inside. AVOID THE POOL BAR AT ALL COSTS HERE! I have never experienced such terrible service in my life. After my order was taken (25 minutes after sitting down), the waiter came back an hour later to tell me that my order couldn't be made and handed us a check for the drinks. Embarkation: After taking a cab from the hotel to the port (Cabs are very accessible and fairly inexpensive; I would recommend this over any transport arranged by the cruise line.) we got in a long line to drop our luggage off. We didn't receive any baggage tags from RCCL in advance, but were provided with ones at the port. (NOTE: To whoever is reading this at RCCL, please reinstate the mailing of Cruise Docs. Having to print everything online is incredibly obnoxious and is not "green", it just transfers the costs of printing to your customers.) After completing a public health survey, waiting in more lines and having our photos taken, we were finally onboard and proceeded to our staterooms. Overall this was smooth, just note that a portion of the process is done outside. If it is very hot, bring some water. The Ship: Having sailed on the Explorer twice, this ship seemed very familiar to me. It is very large with over 3100 passengers and 1200 crew; however, the only two places that ever seemed crowded were the royal promenade (at night) and the frozen yogurt machine. (Please add another one!) The casino was of a good size and there were more bars than I could keep track of for the week. The best thing about this ship is that there really is something for everyone. RCCL always manages to take the cruise beyond shuffle board and an after dinner drink. There is rock climbing, mini golf, family pools, the solarium (an adults only pool with two large hot tubs), a sports bar, a small mall of duty free shops and bars. It was great for a large group like us as we could all do different things and enjoy ourselves. The shows were alright. We had a juggling act the first night and a stand up comedian the last night that I liked, but that was about it. The ice skating show was great though; make sure to get your tickets once onboard. TV: Just a note. I really didn't care, but as this was a New Year's Cruise, many people in my group and onboard were not pleased with the adequate coverage of Bowl Games. If you are going to die if you are not guaranteed a certain sporting event, Don't go. Internet: Slow and Overpriced. RCCL has to fix this. They used to offer an unlimited in room package with an Ethernet cable for $120. Now it is all wifi and SLOW! It cost me $7 to update my facebook and scroll thru my email. Unacceptable. The Room: We were in 8593 (Promenade) and 9558 (JS). The promenade room is fairly small, but manageable. Our steward was incredible and was always offering a helping hand when we needed it. (for 8593). I didn't stay in the JS, but it did look really nice. It was very large and had a double sized bathroom and a walk in closet. The balcony was also very large. We had no issues. Dining: I personally felt that this was my best cruise for dining. Our table was located on the 4th floor right next to the balcony, so that we almost had our own private space. Jacob and Denise were excellent servers and were able to put up with a fairly demanding group! Our Head Waiter was also the best we had seen yet! After telling him that I have been to Delhi (Where he is from) he had the kitchen staff cook me a special Indian dish each night after that. He really went above and beyond! The food was alright and I really liked the small portion size. I hate the windjammer. 'nuff said. I did, however, like the 5th floor cafe promenade. The staff was friendly and helpful, and the food was also pretty good! Also, for me, I did find it economical to purchase the Coke package on the first day. Ports of Call: St. Thomas: I spent the day in port enjoying the stores and hitting up a few bars. It was a nice enjoyable day. I also had to run to the airport to pick up friends who missed their flight to San Juan. Taxis in St Thomas are all shared. If you want a private cab it is really expensive and doesn't save much time. Also, taxi drivers here are quite "emotional" if you try to bargain with them. St. Croix: Here we went to do the cruise line's excursion called Beach on the Cay. We drove about 45 minutes to sit on a beach. We were given a strange chair (NOT A CHAISE LOUNGE) and a free drink. It wasn't a very good value, but was convient. St. Kitts: Here we all went on the Volcano Hike thru RCCL's excursions. WARNING: This is an intense excursion!! We went on a very rainy day and it was more of a mudslide than a hike. It was very dangerous, and it is nothing short of a miracle that no one was hurt. It really should have been cancelled. The guides were superb in dealing with disgruntled cruisers and the trail! RCCL recognized their bad and refunded us 50% of the cost of the ticket. Dominica: The HiRopes HiHopes excursion is not just zip lining, but a ropes course. I enjoyed it, but not everyone did. If you are afraid of heights and other things, you are probably better sitting at the beach. We ate in town for lunch. Watch out for people who may harass you outside the port area. We had one man try to sell us "mud" and ask us to buy him booze. (This was more of a humorous experience than a scary one, don't be afraid, it seemed very safe). The shopping here is lacking, but the island is absolutely beautiful! It is one of my favorite Islands! Barbados: We went to the Boatyard, which was a success! We just walked out of the port and asked for a cab to the boatyard, and with in 10 minutes, we were at this beach/bar/restaurant/facility. For $12 you get entrance, a drink, beach acess, water toys (i.e.: a giant trampoline). The bar is a lot of fun and fairly affordable. For entrance, you are also offered a chaise lounge, however, we showed up too late and didn't get any. This was ok as we just found a nice picnic table to sit at. Highly recommended for all ages and people! Just google them, they have a detailed website. Disembarkation: We took a while to clear, but since my group was all Platinum, we got priority disembarkation. It probably took us 10 minutes from walking off the ship to the curb, where there are many taxis waiting. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Our family of 4 adults went on a Christmas Cruise and just loved it!! My husband and I had cruised once before on the same ship and wanted to give our children a taste of cruising for Christmas. (they are 26 and 28 years old). Flew in from ... Read More
Our family of 4 adults went on a Christmas Cruise and just loved it!! My husband and I had cruised once before on the same ship and wanted to give our children a taste of cruising for Christmas. (they are 26 and 28 years old). Flew in from NC 2 days earlier to San Juan. We wore our Griswold Tshirts (not our real last names) and Santa hats on the plane! Stayed at the Sheraton in Old San Juan for 2 nights - highly recommend this hotel. We walked around Old San Juan, great food, great shopping. Took a taxi to the Pan American Pier Sunday morning and boarded Adventure of the Seas by 12 noon, only waited in line about 20 minutes. Embarkation was quick and efficient. Note: We usually do not book all our excursions from RCCL. We check out the taxi/shuttle drivers in the ports and request tours no longer than 3 hours to see the different islands. Works out well for about $15.00 per person. Day 1: Dec. 19 Embarkation with the Griswold Christmas Tshirts Immediately went to the Spa to book massages (hot stones, fantastic!) for my daughter and myself. Checked out our table in the MDR - originally requested a table for 8 but was thrilled with a table just for the 4 of us. We love the late seating for dinner.The first table was on Deck 3 in the kitchen corner area and we asked for a move to another location. Ended up on Deck 5 Mozart - wonderful! I am a gluten, shellfish, kiwi, banana allergic person and the head waiter Nicholas was excellent in making sure all my food was prepared properly. Loved Felix our head waiter and Wilmar the assistant waiter. Best trio of Head Waiter, Assistant Waiter and Maitre D ever! Spent the afternoon exploring the ship, lazing by the pool and eating of course. The Muster drill was even fun. Love all the different people onboard. Ship left port at 8:30pm. Day 2: Dec. 20 St. Thomas. Spent the day shopping in port - recommend the AH Riise Mall. Back on the ship in the afternoon. Next time we will take a tour of the island. Day 3: Dec. 21 St. Maarten. Went to Orient Bay by taxi. Traffic jam due to an accident on the island and it took a long time to get to the beach. Was disappointed with Orient Bay - we are used to North Myrtle Beaches which are great. Beach was crowded (lots of seaweed, kind of dirty) and it costs $ to get a beach chair, umbrella, and use the restroom. My husband, son and daughter went jet skiing - waves were choppy. My daughter ended up falling off the jet ski and injured her back. When we arrived back to the ship she went to the medical facility, no fractures thankfully but required an anti-inflammatory injection. Nurse and doctor very good. Needed to cancel our snorkeling excursion for the next day in St. Kitts due to her injury - refund given with a note from the on board medic. Day 4: Dec. 22 St. Kitts. Took a tour around the island and to the Batik factory - just lovely and worth seeing. Prices very reasonable. Had photos taken with monkeys at the port shopping location - lots of fun and the monkeys sit on your head and shoulders. Day 5: Dec. 23 Grenada. Love Grenada! Rained in am. Took the RCCL Spice and Waterfalls Tour - highly recommend this tour. Bought a spice necklace, very unique to Grenada, and some under the counter rum.....potent! Yum. Beautiful scenery and would love to return to this island someday. Day 6: Dec. 24 Christmas Eve St. Lucia. Rained all day. My husband and son had scheduled a 7 hr scuba excursion with RCCL but it was canceled due to choppy waters. They were bummed out and went snorkeling instead. Bad decision - saw one puny fish, no sun and visibility was about 3 feet at maximum. Meanwhile my daughter and I went out in the pouring rain and did some shopping in port. We bought maracas and played with the Caribbean band in the middle of the shopping area. Lots of fun!! Soaking wet!! No sun all day. My daughter and I had booked a 75 minute 'Hot Stone' massage at the spa for 2:00pm - superb! Very relaxing and both of us slept for an hour after in our rooms. Day 7: Dec. 25 MERRY CHRISTMAS! Santa arrived on the ship around 8am. Ho, Ho, Ho! Free rum and eggnog for all the adults. We wore our Griswold Christmas Family Tshirts and Santa Hats all day....lots of fun. We attended all the shows at 7pm, prior to our scheduled dinner at 8:30pm every night. Formal nights were the 2nd day of the cruise and Christmas Eve. Parades, caroling, 70's disco dancing in the street, bingo, trivia contests, art tours and auction, karaoke....you name it, we tried to do everything!! Anna Bass was our Cruise Director and she was fantastic - lots of energy, many activities to choose from. The' Cool Art, Hot Ice' show was great and Quest was the funniest thing I have ever seen. Day 8: Debarkation Left the ship around 9:45am - well planned. Get a porter to help you collect your bags - go through the customs lines faster. Note: Don't forget to bring extension cord and power strip. Hanging plastic shoe organizer for bathroom door - keeps everything off the counter - lots of room for bathroom items, shoes, etc. Supplied hair dryer works well. We were known as the T Shirt Family and we were asked many times if we were the 'REAL' Griswolds...ha! Best Christmas ever!! Looking forward to a December 2011 cruise! Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
We booked the Cruise fairly late, through a local trusted travel agent. Our flights, via Easy Jet were independent of the Cruise and were fine for what they were - no complaints.Upon arrival at Malaga, having collected our luggage we were ... Read More
We booked the Cruise fairly late, through a local trusted travel agent. Our flights, via Easy Jet were independent of the Cruise and were fine for what they were - no complaints.Upon arrival at Malaga, having collected our luggage we were met by two RCCL reps who directed us to the area to collect our inclusive transfer. As per usual, we did not see our luggage again until it was delivered to our State Room.We were lucky, in that the coach left the airport within 5 minutes of our boarding; however, one passenger was moaning that they had been waiting for ages. I guess that is the luck of the draw.The coach journey from the airport to the Cruise Port was approx. 20 minutes and was comfortable and uneventful.Upon arrival at the port two long lines had formed, one for those with luggage (independent travelers), the other, for those without luggage, such as us.Although appearing long, the lines moved very quickly, and within a few minutes we were within the terminal and were directed to an even shorter line, which moved even quicker to the check in staff.Be careful....the Spanish don't know the meaning of the word line, and if you give an inch, they will take a mile and push in where they can, this was experienced throughout the trip. We cant however, blame RCCL for this!As we had completed our Cruise questionnaire online and have printed the 'Sea Pass', if we were at the check in desk for longer than three minutes it was a long time. We were there just long enough for RCCL to take an imprint of my pre registered credit card, to be issued with our charge/key cards and to complete a health questionnaire.We then followed the signs and headed onto the ship via a welcome aboard photo. Being a Coke Drinker, as usual I signed up for the Soda package, which provided I had at least three soft drinks a day (which I did), worked out to be very good value.Being the 'foodie' that I am, upon embarkation we headed straight to the Windjammer Cafe on Deck 11. As expected, it was busy, but again, lines moved quickly and we quickly found a table to sit at.I cant stress enough, that now having done a number of Cruises, I must say that the food served in the Windjammer was fantastic, probably, the freshest, hottest, well presented and variety that I have come across.Having fed my rotund stomach, we headed to our Room, 8226, which was port side virtually at the front with a balcony.The room was exactly as expected, being well proportioned, very clean, ample closet space, nice balcony ......in fact, no different than any other Cruise Line in size (although layout slightly different) and more than adequate. My only complaint, although again, not RCCLs fault, as we booked so late the position of this cabin was the only one available, therefore we had a long walk to get anywhere.Over the years, we have seen all Cruise lines cut back a little each year. On this Cruise we noted that no toiletries were provided except for soak and shampoo. Long gone are the days of robes and luxury toiletries being provided it would seem. The one disappointing item (which my Mrs. Wont be impressed with, with me mentioning) was that we did not receive a little chocolate on our pillow at night. When I casually enquired about this I was told that RCCL ceased this practice three years earlier.......which I'm not sure is actually the case.We had a walk around the ship. Full compliments to RCCL for what really is a beautiful vessel in excellent decorative order. The weather had a lot to be desired and therefore we were unable to make use of the Swimming Pools or Sun Decks, but they certainly matched every other ship we have been on.Although not for us, the external rock climbing wall was impressive as was the Ice Skating ring, which despite my wife's best intentions, she never actually got round to using.On a Cruise ship I normally spend half my time waiting for lifts. Strangely, on this ship the lifts were fast and we noticeably didn't have to wait long.Having Cruised with RCCL some 17 years previously, we failed to mention this when we booked. Whilst in the UK, through our travel agents RCCL acknowledged our previous cruise and therefore we were entered into the Crown and Anchor society. When on board, we identified that this had not been carried across to our room key (indication) and that no other benefits were provided. Upon visit the guest relations lady, who was more than helpful, she noted our previous cruise, applied labels to our room keys and issued us with the discount booklet and ensured we were invited to the welcome back party.The discount book was well worth having as it included discounts on the Internet packages, free drinks and discounts to onboard purchases.Having packed my laptop so that we could communicate with our Children via Skype and so that I could log into my office and check emails etc.....we purchased a 500 minute Internet Package, which, in the end was excessive which cost us $145.00 with discount from the discount book. I was disappointed that the data socket in our room did not work and we did not have Wi-Fi in our cabin. This left us using a few Wi-Fi Hotspots around the ship. RCCL - if anything, please enable the Data sockets in the cabins or provide Wi-Fi throughout!Internet Access throughout our trip, whilst not as fast as land based was more than adequate.Dinner time - we opted for first sitting at 6.45 and requested a table of 8. We got exactly what we asked for and were seated with 6 other people from the UK, all of whom were very pleasant. The choice of food would suit anyone's palette. Our Waiter was very attentive and polite, always offering his recommendation of the day having gone into great detail about each course. Equally, the assistant waiter was very efficient. On the first evening I requested a regular coke. From that moment on, every evening upon sitting down a regular coke would appear, and when that was finished, it was replaced as was my wife's water. Likewise, another member of our table had a taste for ketchup with everything, low and behold, a bottle of ketchup was by her seat each evening. The meal was three courses (most other Cruises have been 4 courses) and no petite pours afterwards (first cruise never to be offered these), but plenty of tea and coffee. Although not on the menu, I asked for Cheese and Biscuits in place of (or on occasion as well as) dessert which was forthcoming with a good selection of cheese.The Head Waiter came to our table each evening and spoke to each of us in turn ensuring that we were delivering what was expected....and it was.On three of the evenings the waiters did a song and dance routine, which was appreciated by all and were great photo opportunities.My wife and I took the opportunity of having breakfast in each of the locations offered on different days, this being the Windjammer, one of three restaurants which offered a buffet and another of the three restaurants which offered À la carte. The choice and quality of food in each was fantastic. The advantage of the A la carte menu was that I could have Kippers, a personal favorite of mine. In the end, the Windjammer was a personal favorite for variety with everything you would expect for a Full English Breakfast, to Continental Breakfast and everything in between. All served freshly, hot and tasty. As expected, an Omelet Station was also provided and there were no long lines for toast (of which there were several options available).Whilst lunch was available in one of the Dining Rooms we chose to lunch each day, except the final day in the Windjammer. For those that wanted them, they had hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza as well as full lunches with a different carvery each day with a variety of potatoes, vegetables and salads.On our last day on board we sampled Jonny Rockets which had a small surcharge for as much as you could eat. The restaurant is an American themed restaurant serving burgers, hotdogs, shakes, floats etc.....with the waiters performing a show and dancing every half an hour. Withy prior knowledge of what was on offer, due to our own dietary constraints we could not eat any of the meat products, however, everyone else was commenting on how great it all tasted.RCCL - Please note. We were very disappointed to note that unlike any other Cruise we have ever been on, the Windjammer Cafe closed each evening with no Midnight Buffet (acknowledged as being a thing of the past). Whilst a Cafe on the Promenade deck (deck 5) is open 24 hours, the only items available were slices of pizza, cakes and biscuits. I have come accustomed to visiting the 24 hour buffet, if only to look and not eat (well, I normally have something!) before bed, after all, with the first dining sitting being at 6.45 pm I can get hungry!Unusually for us, we only ordered room service once; this was for early morning coffee and tea to our room. It arrived earlier than expected, but in fairness, they telephoned us ahead to say it was on route. The Room service menu was comprehensive, although RCCL charged for room service between midnight and 05.00 - only approx $4, but still something we are not used to.The Cruise Director and his staff were excellent. There were three parades along the main 'Royal Promenade' during the Cruise which can be compared to a Disney Main Street Parade. Whilst we only attended the last one, we were told they were very enjoyable.The ship provided entertainment each evening with two shows included. Unfortunately, whilst they were to a high standard they were not to our personal liking. The shows did not have a story line as such with a few of us, despite the noise, dropping off to sleep. It is clear that when a Cruise has many non English guests, such as this Cruise had, the feasibility of having comics is unlikely and a decent proportion of the guests would not be able to understand the humor or the language. It was very interesting and important to note that during the behind the scenes tour we were told that a show lasts on a ship for up to 5 years, therefore, depending on when you travel, if you were to travel on this vessel again in the near future you would more than likely see the same entertainment, excepting guest entertainers of course.The Ice show was particularly good, repeated twice a day on each of the two sea days. However, the Ice Skaters did fall over a few times during each show! Until the end of the show it was difficult to guess what the theme of the show was...it turned out to be fashion.As expected, the onboard Orchestra was excellent as was the Pianist in the Schooner Bar and other music provided at various bars around the ship.The Bingo was well attended and presented well, unfortunately, we didn't win anything but the cash prizes were decent amounts.Being old and tired we didn't venture into the Disco.Like so many other ships, this cruise included an art auction, which is something my wife and I particularly enjoy. As usual, despite my wife holding my arm down so I couldn't bid, I won and we ended up purchasing two items of art at fantastic value. The auctioneer was excellent in his delivery and knowledge of the works of art and his team was very professional. It has to be acknowledged that the Spanish generally don't purchase art at sea and the contingent of the guests was not the type that would ordinarily purchase art. I therefore doubt that despite his best efforts if the auctioneer met his target! The free champagne was flowing at each auction.RCCL Please note - we were very disappointed with the goods sold within your on board shops. RCCL missed lots of opportunity to sell branded goods such as photo albums and RCCL branded chocolate etc... which would have made ideal gifts; unfortunately we had to purchase gifts on land. Our Cruise included two ports of call, Tenerife and Madeira, whilst a Varity of Ship Excursions were available none of them appealed to us, so we got off the ship and made our own arrangements.Disembarkation was simple and unhurried, unlike previous cruises we did not feel that we were being pushed off the ship.Value for money - In my opinion excellent value for money. Whilst know one ever pays brochure price I can tell you that the price we paid in total, which included the flights (and one suitcase each), plus transfer to and from the ship was exceptional. There was talk around the ship that some passengers paid £150.00! Each (for an inside cabin)...if true, £150.00 for a 5 night inclusive cruise is unbelievable. Whilst I am not crying for RCCL, even with the quantity of scales involved (over 3000 passengers and 1,200 crew) it is difficult to see how RCCL made any money, maybe this is why the little things that I have picked up on that we expected and weren't in place, were indeed, not included. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
Wow! What an amazing holiday! 1st time cruisers -went with another couple of experienced cruisers. From the moment we got on the ship we were "wowed"! The room was clean and comfortable. Our stateroom attendant Anthony was ... Read More
Wow! What an amazing holiday! 1st time cruisers -went with another couple of experienced cruisers. From the moment we got on the ship we were "wowed"! The room was clean and comfortable. Our stateroom attendant Anthony was fantastic. Food was good - not great - but good selection. We ate in the dining room everynight as we have no interest in the hussle of the buffet. Our waiter Raphael took great care of us. The entertainment was good. I was disappointed in the shops on the Promenade. I thought there would be more selection. My only complaint (and it is minor one!) was you can't get a good cup of coffee on this ship. We didn't have near enough time to see everything on the ship as we got off at every port. All in all a wonderful experience. Just off the ship for 3 days and already planning for next year! Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
We recently returned from a 7-day Southern Caribbean cruise on the Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas. As experienced cruisers who have cruised with this line many times before, some things met and sometimes exceeded our expectations. ... Read More
We recently returned from a 7-day Southern Caribbean cruise on the Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas. As experienced cruisers who have cruised with this line many times before, some things met and sometimes exceeded our expectations. We spent two nights pre-cruise at the San Juan Marriott Stellaris Resort and Casino. The hotel underwent an extensive refurbishment since we last stayed there. Our room on the ninth floor was bright and clean and had an ocean view. We were starved after our early morning flight from Atlanta, so we headed down to the pool bar for a quick burger and my first Mojito. We then headed down the street to Walgreens to pick up some last minute toiletries which we could not bring on the plane. That evening we opted to dine at the buffet in the hotel. The following day, after a quick breakfast at Starbucks which was across the street from the hotel, we took a taxi into Old San Juan for a day of sightseeing and an early dinner at the Parrott Club (I was not impressed, and whatever I ate did not sit well on my stomach). Sunday, December 21, 2008 - Boarding Day As Crown & Anchor Diamond members, boarding was a fast, easy and painless process. Upon entering the cruise terminal at the Pan American pier, we were immediately ushered to the Diamond counter where they checked our boarding passes scanned our credit card, and issued our Seapass cards. This is the card which you use to get into your cabin, re-boarding the ship after going ashore, and charging all purchases while on board. The only time cash changes hands is in the casino, and if you choose to tip in cash rather than by voucher. We were then allowed to board the ship. It was then on to lunch in the Windjammer where we enjoyed the standard Royal Caribbean buffet and our favorite Honey Stung Chicken which is only served on the first day. The buffet selection was as varied as we remembered, (salad bar, hot entrees, soups, sandwiches, hand carved meats, deserts, soft serve ice cream & soft drinks). After overstuffing ourselves, it was time to check out our dinner seating arrangements. We were assigned to a table for four directly in the entrance to the Strauss Dining room on Deck 4. We were not at all satisfied with the seating assignment, so we waited in line for the Maitre D' to request a table change. We specifically requested to be seated at a large table with English speaking people and no children. Later that evening we discovered that we were now seated at a large table, but with only one other couple who spoke no English at all. Needless to say, the following morning, we were back at the Maitre D' desk requesting another table change...again. We were assigned to a table for six in the Mozart Dining Room on Deck 5. Only one other couple showed up. They weren't the friendliest or most conversational, but at least they spoke English. This is the first time in all of our cruises that we have encountered such problems. We usually look forward to dining each evening with our tablemates. It is one of the highlights of our cruise. Our next stop was our Jr. Suite on Deck 9 which was ready at 2:00 PM. After unpacking our carry-ons and decorating the cabin, the balcony railing and the outside of the cabin door (it was Christmas), we headed out for a brief tour of the ship. I've sailed on this ship before, however, it was over 3 years since I last sailed her, and I wanted to reacquaint myself. We started with the pools area on Deck 11. The pools and whirlpools were nice, spacious, and not overcrowded. My favorite is the Solarium, a semi-enclosed area which is reserved for those over the age of 16....nice lounge chairs, 2 whirlpools and a quieter, more relaxed atmosphere. Next stop was the Royal Promenade on deck 5. This is the heart of the ship. and a constant hub of activity. The Royal Promenade runs almost the entire length of the ship, and is about 4 stories high. It gives the impression of being on a street in Italy. A huge, beautifully decorated Christmas tree dominated almost the entire space in front of the Cafe' Promenade. There are shops and cafe's and places to just sit and watch the people walk by. It was then back to our cabin to wait for our luggage to arrive. By 4:00 we were unpacked and ready to continue our tour of the ship. We checked out the Lyric Theater. Compared to all of the other ships we have cruised on, these seats as well as the seating arrangements are among the best...comfortable and almost like stadium seating. We checked out some of the bars and lounges before the muster drill at 4:30 which was followed by our informal Cruise Critic Meet & Greet at 5:30 in the Schooner Bar. The ship set sail at 8:00 PM and we viewed sailaway from the Promenade Deck. We always enjoy watching the lights of San Juan fade into the distance during evening departures. Ports of call Aruba - We did the island tour and sail back to the ship Curacao - another island tour St. Maarten - shopping. This is my favorite port for shopping. St Thomas - St John island tour Rather than detail every minute of the cruise, I will offer some of my overall observations. Try not to miss the parades, the 70's Dance party, and entertainment on the Royal Promenade...jugglers, dancers, singers, stilt walkers. Stop at the cafe' for croissant sandwiches, pizza, coffee, cookies and other sweets. The food in the dining rooms is not as good as it used to be. It is good/average...not great. We missed some of the more elegant selections which used to be on the menu. Our waiter, Sylvester, and our Head Waiter indulged my love for Indian food with a side dish of something special every evening. Portofino, the upscale restaurant was just so-so. The food was not nearly as good as it once was (the Seafood Skewer was far too dry and tasteless), however, the service was impeccable. There is a $20.00 per person fee to dine there. Our Jr. Suite on Deck 9, starboard was comfortable and spacious. Our cabin attendant, Carrilee, was terrific and a joy to speak with every day. She always greeted us with a smile and something nice to say. Robert (from France) our Concierge, was quite charming and was always eager and able to help us with our few requests. RCCL spends quite a bit of money on entertainment. The ice show is not to be missed. On this cruise, they had a second ice show for the holidays which had both Christmas and Hanukkah entertainment. The Nelson brothers were the headliners in the theater with a show dedicated to their late dad, Ricky Nelson. There was also a Gaucho act, a comedian, a juggler and the Royal Caribbean singers and dancers. Mike Szwajowski was our Cruise Director, and did a fabulous job. He always started the show in the theater with some sort of magic trick. One big disappointment was the lack of Christmas decorations throughout the ship. This was our fifth year cruising during the holidays, and we missed the usual garlands along the railings in the dining room and interior balconies, and the various decorated trees throughout the ship. The only tree we saw was the one on the Royal Promenade. The lack of decorations was noted and mentioned by many of the other passengers and made the sailing less festive than in previous years. Another disappointment, although minor, was the inability to get a Bloody Mary in the Concierge Lounge since tomato juice is now considered a premium beverage. Nice ship, good ports of call, great entertainment, friendly, informative staff... Read Less
Sail Date December 2008
San Juan: In order to avoid the risks associated with winter weather in Canada we flew to San Juan on Friday (no stress, no mess). We stayed two nights at the Embassy Suites in Dorado Del Mar which is about 30 minutes west of San ... Read More
San Juan: In order to avoid the risks associated with winter weather in Canada we flew to San Juan on Friday (no stress, no mess). We stayed two nights at the Embassy Suites in Dorado Del Mar which is about 30 minutes west of San Juan. I highly recommend this particular Embassy Suites location (see later that this location is not to be confused with the San Juan location) a)at $125 an night for a suite that comfortably slept 4 (you could do 5) and included breakfast, it is a great value b)it has its own golf course, tennis courts, pool, a small beach and is close to many other big beaches c)they provide the names of taxi drivers who will meet you at the airport d)there are two rental car locations nearby Our favorite activity in San Juan... the Hike to Lamina falls within the El Yunque National Forest. A bit hard / time consuming to get to but well worth the effort. Bring a bathing suit and take a dunk at the bottom of the falls. On return we also decided to avoid the rush and stress of catching a flight the same day and chose to spend Sunday in San Juan. This time we stayed at the Embassy Suite in San Juan (Isla Verde, near the airport) . We would not recommend this Embassy suite location. a)At $ 360 This room was almost 3x the price of the other location b)They were very disorganized. We did not get our room until 8:30 PM despite the the 4PM room availability we were promised upon arrival and that was clearly posted. When we finally did get the room there was no bedding on any of the beds. It all seemed like a comedy of errors. c)The usual courtyard area was not as well appointed as it usually is. It was more like a bare floor with some tables and chairs.. d)The pool water was very cold and the hot tub was under repair. e)There is a casino that opens up to the courtyard area that took away from the usual family atmosphere of the Embassy Suites locations. Boarding: Based on feedback on the cruise critic website we headed to the peer and arrived just after 12:00 Noon.. The taxi convoy into the peer was a bit long but not outrageous. Once at the terminal it took a grand total of 20 minutes from the time we unloaded our luggage from the taxi to the time we were on board the ship. I was impressed by the logistics as well as the number and attitude of the staff present during the boarding process. This first impression of everything being well organized with a very informed and helpful staff turned out to hold true for the rest of the cruise. The State Rooms: Once on board we had a quick lunch and proceeded to explore the ship, locate all of the attractions and count the bars (lots). Our rooms were ready at 2:00PM as promised. My wife and I travelled with our two teenaged daughters and my 82 year old father. We had booked one Junior suite and two inside cabins. The Suite was our common spot but the girls and my dad slept in their inside cabins. I highly recommend getting a separate cabin for the teens, if you go with an inside cabin near your own cabin it is not that much more money and in my opinion well worth it. All of our cabins were at the very back of the ship on level 7. Having a Junior Suite at the back was great because of a bigger deck but we did find it a bit bumpier than a cabin towards the center of the ship. The Cabins on this ship are much roomier than comparable ones we had had on Disney Magic. I also recommend a junior suite, it is as big as a good sized hotel room and has a decent sized bathtub / shower and loads of storage space. The Ship and Amenities: The Adventure of the Seas is very nice with great amenities and plenty to see and do. Our favorite activities were the Rock climbing wall and the Games room. Some reviews had said that this ship is showing its age... I disagree, yes the carpets are a little dirty in some spots but really nothing to complain about. The pool deck area was busy on sea days but there are a number of different nooks with sun or shade and we were always able to find a spot. Sometimes we would hide from the kids in the adult only Solarium area which is very well laid out and beautifully decorated. They don't lock the doors so the kids can find you if they need to. What impressed me the most were the staff.. From 60 different nations, highly motivated and seemingly happy. With such a large ship on what is probably one of the busier weeks of the year I had expected long line ups and crowds at popular activities and locations. This was not the case. Shows: The ice shows were amazing. Short and sweet and very well performed. We had read that getting tickets would be difficult but that was not the case. We turned up 15 minutes ahead of the appointed 10AM time on Monday morning and had the tickets within 3 minutes. Again I found the logistics to be well tuned and the staff quite friendly. The main shows were good but not as good as the ones on Disney Magic. Bars: There are lots of different bars each with different atmosphere. Our favorite pre/post-dinner drink spot was the Crown room on the rear of Deck 14 overlooking the pool decks. The drinks are reasonably priced. The bar staff very friendly and helpful, special mention goes to Jamal who was working the Solarium bar during our week (Bar staff apparently rotate among the many bars every two weeks) . He brews the best Long Island Ice tea I have ever had... highly recommended if you want to spend a few hours in a semi "medicated" state. The Food: I have to admit that with 2000+ guests on board we boarded with "realistic" expectations for the food. Our expectations were exceeded. Based on a suggestion in one of the posts we had pre-booked (via RCDL website) our "departure dinner" at the Portofino restaurant at 8:00PM. This was a perfect way to start, seeing Old San Juan all lit up as we pulled away was really nice. The menu was very interesting, the food outstanding and the service very attentive. Well worth the 20$ extra fee. We ended up booking a second dinner at Portofino for later in the week. Here again I had expected based on previous experience that this would be difficult to do since in the last two weeks leading up to the departure date the web site seem to indicate that the restaurant was fully booked. To the contrary I just called down to the front desk on Monday morning and I was able to book for later in the week. After enjoying our first meal at the restaurant we told ourselves: Maybe we should not have had the restaurant meal on the first night, now we will be disappointed with the Main dining room food. We were wrong, the Dining room menu and food were also very good. Always plenty to choose from including a number of "normal items" (my daughters words" and more adventurous items. As to be expected of a cruise the service was excellent. Our waiter and assistant waiter always would provide tips and suggestions. They also seemed generally concerned that we enjoy everything we ordered. On one or two occasions where one of us did not like what we had chosen, the waiter would offer and bring us a different choice. First class food and first class service. The menu varies from night to night but I highly recommend the Lamb Shank on Tuesday or Wednesday... Wow... As good as I have had in any $100+ a head restaurant. Even the Head waiter spent a bit of time with us each evening with information about upcoming menu items, events or tips for the ports of call. When he heard that my wife was a fan of Spicy Indian food he arranged for a specially prepared "pimped up" dish to be provided on the Friday. Nice touch. Room Service: On Christmas morning we had decided to order room service for breakfast. There is no extra fee for this other than a tip for the person who brings you the food. When the food had not arrived at the indicated time I called down to see what the problem was. It turned out they had misread our time request, they apologized and we had our food less than 10 minutes later. The food was as good as in the dining room, the only limitation was the selection. I recommend room service breakfast once or twice as a treat but I think the Windjammer is great for its variety. Service in the Windjammer was surprising. There are lots of staff roaming around and someone will bring you coffee and juice within seconds of you sitting down. The main dining room is also a very nice alternative for breakfast. They have a good variety including Eggs Benedict and a very nice Smoke Salmon plate. Ports of Call: Our cruise included 4 ports of call: Aruba, Curacao, St Maarten and St Thomas. We did a combination of outings offered by the cruise and our own planned beach days. I recommend consulting the ports of call boards on the CruiseCritic.com site. You can get valuable tips and find something that suits you. I also found it useful to consult the travel web sites of each island to research the beaches. http://www.aruba-travelguide.com/beaches/beach-2.html#playa http://www.curacao.com/ActivitiesEvents/Beaches/Beaches.aspx?lang=en http://www.st-maarten.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=13&Itemid=35 http://www.vinow.com/stthomas/beaches_stt/ In some of the ports of call we pre-booked outings with the ship. The best value was the Pirate Cruise at Aruba. A nice half day aboard an old wooden sail boat. The snorkeling was ordinary (bobbing in the water with 75 other tourists) but the atmosphere on board and the rope jumping at the end was amazing. I you are looking for one day of big waves (body surfing, boogie boarding) I highly recommend Dawn Beach at St Maarten.. Not for the faint hearted. Photo Shoots... Of all the "extra services" offered on board, our favorite was the daily photo shoots. Every night around dinner and at very port of call there are several photo shoots that are set up to take photos of you and your family. They use a variety of backdrops and settings. They will take as many pictures as you want. The photographers are professional (not all the same level) and they are using high end cameras and lights. The shoots themselves are free and you only pay if you buy photos. The photos are not cheap but when you consider the quality of the photos and that you only pay for shots you like it is not so bad. We had a good 60 different photos taken and ended up purchasing 5 8x10" photos for $20 each. They have kiosks on board where you can see, crop and select your photos. Conclusion... We were very pleased with this cruise, this ship and this itinerary. We would recommend to any one who is looking for a great family vacation. Read Less
Sail Date December 2008
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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