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

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
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
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
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
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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