4 Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas Cruise Reviews for Holiday Cruises to Caribbean - Southern

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
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
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
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

Find an Adventure of the Seas Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click