7 Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas Cruise Reviews for Romantic Cruises to Europe - Western Mediterranean

From our overnight stay at the Travelodge, Eastleigh, to the wonderful port parking at Southampton docks, our holiday got off to a terrific start. We were taking our daughter on her first cruise as a present for completing her Masters, so ... Read More
From our overnight stay at the Travelodge, Eastleigh, to the wonderful port parking at Southampton docks, our holiday got off to a terrific start. We were taking our daughter on her first cruise as a present for completing her Masters, so we were keen to board and show her around our ship. Embarkation was flawless. And as usual, friendly helpful staff were there to guide us through the boarding process, and we boarded around 12.00 mid day. As we knew our cabin wouldn't be ready, we made our way to the very very busy Windjammer and were able to snag a table almost immediately. The place was heaving, and after we ate our lunch we were delighted to hear that cabins were now open. Our cabin 9358, was a triple room with balcony, towards the back of the ship. It was a good sized cabin, with very little motion or engine noise. However, each morning almighty bangs were heard from the floor above, as we were opposite a service door, we presumed these were deliveries. They did not impact on our cabin experience in any way. Sadly during the first night I came down with a gastrointestinal illness which I believe came from my buffet lunch . After seeing the ship's doctor, I was quarantined to the cabin on a diet of dry toast and peppermint tea. I was given free access to the movie channels and the mini bar at no charge. The infirmary staff were wonderful, kind caring and professional. The next day I was allowed mashed potato and white rice to compliment the dry toast and peppermint tea. With all the wonderful food on board this was very difficult to swallow, but very good for the waistline! Eventually I was allowed out of the cabin, but not into public areas, however, the following day ( our first port of call Gibraltar) I was allowed to leave the ship, but still on the restricted diet. Our dining room experience was wonderful. We were seated with some lovely people, and our waiter Josep, and his assistant Barjolette were just superb. So efficient and organised, it was a pleasure to be at their table. The shows we saw were very good. I thought David Copperfield was hilarious, he was so entertaining and such a lot of fun. The ice show was, as usual exemplarary. And the daily quizzes were brilliant. Out of all of our ports only two disappointed us, and that was Gibraltar and Lisbon. Gibraltar was like any British high street, and Lisbon was dirty, graffiti ridden and just generally not pleasant. All our other ports were gorgeous, Corsica being my very favourite. We loved every inch of the ship, so much so, we have booked our 30th wedding anniversary cruise for next September back on the AOS- however, we've treated ourselves to a suite. Leaving the ship was a little chaotic, but once we were called we easily found our luggage and left the port very smoothly.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
Too start with we boarded the ship at the second port Valencia, not Malaga which most passengers did. We had heard some rumors about poor check in procedures in Valencia. We had no problems at all. The shore staff didn't seem very ... Read More
Too start with we boarded the ship at the second port Valencia, not Malaga which most passengers did. We had heard some rumors about poor check in procedures in Valencia. We had no problems at all. The shore staff didn't seem very experienced, but met us with a smile and it all went very fast. A good 25 mins waiting for the shuttle bus to drive us too the ship was more than we hoped for after a long travel, but not a big issue. (4*) Stateroom: We had a D1 on deck 10. Probably not freshened up since the ship was built, but no major wears. I saw some of the interiors in our hallway had new flatscreen TVs. We still had an old one where some channels made a funny annoying noise... The stateroom had a "humid smell" that we got used to in a day or two, also the "thingy" they use when washing the balconies etc. disturbed the views to the aft a bit. (3*) Stateroom attendant: The best we've had. Extremely charming, service minded and funny. One of those who just make your cruise experience memorable. (5+*) Food: MDR food good as always - Nothing spectacular. Windjammer food was good, bud the place itself overcrowded at nearly all times. Too noisy, which I will come back to. Tried Johnny Rocket's for the first time which was a very nice experience, but next time we'll have it for dinner instead of lunch. (we felt full till lunch the day after). Room service food was good as always as well. (4*) Food service: MDR: Started of a bit bad after being allocated till another table. Our new waiter seemed a bit nervous and stressed at first but became very lovable from day three onwards. Asst. waiter was very nice but had some problems communicating in English at some times. Windjammer: Don't expect a lot when eating in Windjammer, but on this cruise we experienced some service errors. One waiter didn't believe we were 18 when asking for the wine list (we're 27) until we photo ID'd ourselves. One ordered omelet were never delivered before breakfast closing time. Johnny Rocket's: A very nice experience! Smiles and laughter everywhere :) (4*) Fitness\Spa: Fitness center was good although it would have been nice with some more barbell choices. Spa service was excellent! (5*) Rates: Same as before: Totally OK. RCLL should be including service fee's in their prices though... (4*) Public rooms: The ship looks good, and offers everything you need, but should soon be up for some refreshment's here and there soon. (4*) Entertainment: CD Warren Allen had a hard time getting feedback on his jokes as the English knowledge of the 60-70% Spanish guest's were surprisingly ridiculously poor. This was actually sad to see cause I LOVED Warren's humour and personality at the RCTV morning show, but he didn't have the possibility to reach that same level in the theatre as EVERYTHING had to be translated into Spanish by the cultural director, which kind of takes some of the fun away from everything.. The general shows (L&M, Quest, production's and ice-shows e.g.) were OK this time. Kenny James headliner show was excellent. Also, we didn't feel as much involved in the day-time entertainment as the Spanish speaking guests probably did. One example was the belly jump competition: 1 Scottish and 6 Spanish comp's (no-one with a big belly). Here they should have a sign-up and then have chosen a good mix instead of doing first one's up. (3*) Shore excursions: The ports of call were excellent. We did all port's on ourselves. (Rome, Pisa, Ajaccio, Malaga) No disappointment's. Corsica was just beautiful. (5*) Others: As mentioned we checked in in Valencia. From having chat's with Spanish speaking guests in the terminal and on the shuttle to the ship, we were surprised to get on the ship seeing that "none" of the Spanish guests departing Malaga could speak English. At time's during shows and in MDR they would start singing pro-Spanish songs loudly when information was given in English first (although all information on board would later be translated to Spanish). This was very annoying at times, it's just not how adults should behave on a cruise ship. Also, the main pool entertainment was too focused on the Spanish speaking guests which led to the fact that the rest of us was feeling a bit left outside of everything. Also the loudest cruise we've been on so far. (Singing at dinner. Children\teenagers diving, screaming and splashing in the main pool's at all times.) Not a big wonder why AOS is leaving Malaga for Southampton next year, which is sad as the service and port of call's were almost perfect for a med cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
Adventure of the Seas, Malaga 16-23 July The largest vessels we have previously been on had some 30 passengers, so it would be an experience as to what sailing with some 3,598 others would be like on Royal Caribbean's Adventure ... Read More
Adventure of the Seas, Malaga 16-23 July The largest vessels we have previously been on had some 30 passengers, so it would be an experience as to what sailing with some 3,598 others would be like on Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas. We live in Malaga and it seemed a convenient way of visiting Rome, Florence and Ajaccio in Corsica. No flights to organise, no hanging about in airports and less than an hour's drive to the port. On the Saturday boarding was very quick and efficient and our owner's suite on the 10th deck was more than ample for our needs. There were eight elevators forward and eight aft giving access to all of the decks and a Royal Promenade on deck 5, lined with shops and cafes, creating all of the hustle and bustle of a city street. We were in time for lunch and the only restaurant that was open was the Windjammer. The jostling and difficulty in finding a table in what is a very, very large self service restaurant was an experience not to be forgotten. Spaniards are considered to be the second noisiest people in the world and our shipmates were no exception. Lesson one learnt. An invitation to the Concierge Club lounge to enjoy the complimentary champagne and hors d'oeuvres from 6.30pm onwards saved the day after the awful lunch experience and this became an evening event for the duration of the cruise. We enjoyed the special attention from our Concierge, Reshma, who explained that there were five dining rooms which were available for dinner. Our travel agent had not advised us about My Time Dining and having read a review we had chosen the second sitting at the Mozart at 9.30pm as an alternative to the rather early 6.30pm. Our lunchtime experience was almost equalled in the evening by the line of jostling Spaniards who practically stampeded when the Mozart dining room was opened. As our choice of cabin entitled us to gold sea-pass cards, we were immediately escorted to a rather nice table for two in an otherwise very packed restaurant. The three main dinner restaurants are on different decks and the Mozart looked down on the other two. Dinner was fine and the service was very good, but even though it was now nearly eleven in the evening there were a lot of children. Spaniards like to dine late and we left them to it. We had departed Malaga on Saturday evening and arrived at Valencia at noon the next day. The dock is 15 minutes from the town and a fleet of coaches had been laid on. As with everything else on this cruise, apart from your meals, this is an extra expense. I had wondered why the ship stopped at Valencia as, although it is a very nice city almost everything is closed on Sunday and it lacks the character, interesting architecture and culture of Barcelona or Palma de Mallorca. The answer was simple; some passengers disembarked and some joined the cruise in Valencia but it was a waste of a port of call for the passengers who boarded in Malaga. That evening we spoke to our concierge in the peace and tranquillity of the Concierge lounge whilst sipping more champagne and attended to by our excellent Portuguese and Indian waiters. Reshma explained that My Time Dining could have been booked at the time of our reservation and, although she would try, in all probability it would now be fully booked. I am not sure if the description of MTD is correct. For example booking a table at 8.30 might be possible, but it needs further research. To cut a long story short she suggested that we arrive at the dining room at 9.10 pm, to avoid the crowd, show our gold card and the waiter would escort us to our reserved table early. Frankly we were not up to a repeat of the previous evening and decided to opt for the Italian restaurant, Portofino, which is a small quiet restaurant completely separated from the main dining rooms with its own kitchen and staff and it is well worth the extra charge of twenty dollars. Once seated, we saw the Captain and the first Officer having dinner and we knew that we had come to the right place. The meal was excellent and way beyond our expectations, as was the service. Now we had found somewhere to dine and relax and enjoy dinner for the rest of the cruise, Om Monday we were at sea en route for Civitavecchia in Italy. We headed for the Windjammer for breakfast but it seemed as though every single passenger onboard had descended on this restaurant at the same time so we beat a hasty retreat deciding that we would rather fast until lunchtime than try to compete with starving Spaniards all foraging for food and a table. It was a madhouse. We later found out that for Royal Suite, Owners Suite, Grand Suite and the Royal family Suite we were treated as VIPs and that we could breakfast a la carte in the tranquillity of La Notte, an annexe of the Vivaldi restaurant, on deck three. For the rest of the cruise we breakfasted there and it was a very pleasant experience. Our baptism by fire now over we were getting to grips with maintaining a degree of civilised dining amongst the better part of three and a half thousand people. For lunch we made sure that we were at the Vivaldi restaurant no later than 1.30 and it was also an enjoyable a la carte or buffet meal, although twice we had to insist on a table for two otherwise we would have been seated at a large table with eight or ten people. As the restaurant was empty at the time, I can only presume that grouping like that was to save the waiters changing more tablecloths! At sea, the pool deck was a mass of humanity. It amazed us that, even on a ship of over 1,000 feet, public areas could become so crowded. There is a small pool towards the bows reserved for adults and that is a little more civilised in relation the amount of human flesh you can compress into a given area. There is a reserved play and adventure area at the stern of the ship for children between the ages of 12 to 17. We were now becoming accustomed to the complimentary champagne and the pampering of the quiet Concierge lounge before dining. All but two nights were informal wear but choosing not to wear a dinner suit/fancy dress I donned a jacket and tie for the formal evenings. By Tuesday we had breakfast figured. Our gold cards allowed us into the quiet La Notte restaurant on deck three where we could choose from a la Carte or buffet for breakfast. Alternatively we could have chosen a Continental breakfast in the Concierge lounge. From the trips offered we chose th  bus tour of Rome which allowed us to see the most important historical sites with no walking. We had an hour of free time in the Vatican City to admire the magnificent St.Peter's square and Basilica. It was a most enjoyable day in the Eternal City. On Wednesday we chose the Taste of Florence tour. We walked through the streets with a guide leading the way. Florence is like an open-air museum with Palaces, Piazzas and churches at every turn. Our guide described the works of Michelangelo, Michelozzo and Bunelleschi and others as we strolled through the narrow streets. We arrived in Ajaccio early on Thursday morning and took a trip into the mountainous interior of the island. As the coach climbed high into the mountains on a road that, at times, was little wider than the bus, the views were stunning. The fragrance of the dense forest, wild flowers, herbs and lavender gives the air of Corsica a unique magical perfume of its own. When we reached Cricheto pass at 875m high, we continued our journey by a small wheeled train, with the driver's dog running in front leading the way. The train took us even higher to a breathtaking view of the gorges and lake. The drive back to Ajaccio, by coach, was not for the faint-hearted as we wound our way down the amazing Prunelli Gorges where deep granite cliffs plunged down to the river far below. Thursday was a night at sea with a murder mystery dinner show. Friday at sea. We docked in Malaga at 6 am Saturday morning and we had time for breakfast before leaving the ship at 9 am. Our bags were waiting on the docks. Only a ship the size of Adventure of the Seas can offer passengers such a vast variety of facilities and entertainment. The downside is that this requires a very large amount of passengers to offset the cost of running such a vessel. RCI tries to accommodate everyone on board, and I think that the compromise works reasonably well and, with a little fine tuning, we enjoyed ourselves. It was obvious that Royal Caribbean treat their staff well as everyone I spoke to, from a deckhand to the Captain, came across as being very genuinely happy in their job. No lip service here. Tip. Take your jacket, etc, aboard with you in a hanging wardrobe as it takes several hours for your bags to be delivered to your cabin and there are no ironing facilities. Same for disembarking as your bags are collected at 7pm the evening before and you will require something in your hand to carry your clothes from the previous evening and toiletries. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
We're a family of four from Florida. Our daughter, a May college grad, has studied abroad in Europe twice. The rest of us were Europe rookies. We've cruised many times, but always in the Caribbean. We travel a few times per year ... Read More
We're a family of four from Florida. Our daughter, a May college grad, has studied abroad in Europe twice. The rest of us were Europe rookies. We've cruised many times, but always in the Caribbean. We travel a few times per year as a family and at least once per year as a couple. We had sailed RCCL once before and were not impressed. We chose AOS for the itinerary, not the ship, and set sail with low expectations for our time on board. We flew from Florida to Malaga, Spain two days before embarkation. We took a taxi from the airport to our hotel near the historic city centre, the Vincci. The ride was 20 euro. The hotel was new, bright and modern and well situated for exploring Malaga on foot. We spent a day exploring Malaga, enjoying some of its many cafe's, touring its lovely Cathedral, the Picasso Museum (birthplace of Picasso), dipping our toes in the clear and cool Mediterranean, and hiking the foothills to tour the Alcazaba. Beautifully clean town and a very enjoyable day. The Port is a bit of a challenge to get to...another 20 euro taxi ride from our nearby hotel. Cars must take a series of zig zagging roads to get to the Port building. The building itself is modern and new and our embarkation was easy. As reported, plenty of duty free shopping before you board. We had two rooms...a balcony room and an inside across the hall...on deck 9 starboard aft. The rooms were ready when we boarded around 12:30. Our luggage arrived by 3. We spent the sunny afternoon relaxing by the pool and reading about our week ahead. We had booked excursions online ahead of time, but there seemed to be plenty available on board, as well. Also, we reserved late dining (9:30) and a table for four. At embarkation, we were told we were changed to early dining...not acceptable. On board, we were able to change back to late seating. A bit of a pain, but resolved to our satisfaction. The ship is ten years old and the decor is certainly dated. Lots of teal and rose colored chairs and carpets and gold accents and blond colored wood everywhere. Ew. BUT, all seems clean and well maintained and we were able to look beyond the dated accents and enjoy all that the ship had to offer. Number one for us was the friendliness of the staff. We were greeted by smiles and friendly hello's all over the ship (very different from our one previous RCCL cruise on MOS years ago.) Our room steward and waiter, in particular, were responsive, positive and competent young men. We appreciated their service all week. First stop on our itinerary was Valencia, Spain. Our daughter has a college friend from Barcelona and she and her parents traveled to Valencia to meet us and give us a tour of this charming town. It was a bit of a mystery how to get from the ship to the Port building (about a ten minute bus ride)...no one on the dock was able to help...but eventually we hopped a yellow bus (no air conditioning and standing room only) and made our way to the Port building to meet our friends. From there we went to the historic city center and toured the Cathedral, plaza and other historic sites. Then off to the beach for a lovely lunch of paella (born in Valencia), sangria and calamari. Perfecto! After lunch, we headed to the new and modern City of Arts and Sciences and spent a few hours at the aquarium. A little like SeaWorld Spain...but no worries, a wonderful day. The next day was at sea. It was sunny, but cool, and we enjoyed a leisurely pace all day. Our son (age 8) loved the putt putt, arcade and ice show. My husband and I enjoyed a very special meal at Portifino's that evening. As our ship sailed between Sardinia and Corsica (restaurant window's looked out at Sardinia) we ate a delicious Italian dinner and shared a nice bottle of wine. Breathtaking perfection (tip...book dinner around 7:30...restaurant almost empty and you see the sunset during dessert!) The next day was ROME! We were on a ship's tour (Rarely do ship tours, but thought it would be easy for a first trip to Europe. We were right.) Our tour was ten hours and left the ship before 8am. EARLY morning but worth the lack of sleep. The drive to Rome by bus was under two hours including a rest stop just outside the city. We had an enthusiastic on-bus guide (Gabriella) and a wonderful driver (Stefano, aka Banana!), as well as a well informed city guide, Francesca. We all wore "whispers", little transmitters that picked up whatever Francesca said about what we were seeing. An efficient way to distribute information to all of us at once. We spent time at the Trevi Fountain, the Forum, the Colosseum, Constantine's Arch, 3 course lunch, and the Vatican. An amazing day! There aren't enought positive adjectives. The next day was Florence and Pisa. Again, an early morning and a ship's tour. On bus guide was Giovanna and city guide in Florence was Paola. Both very good. Wore whispers once again. Visited the Duomo (didn't go inside), a square with a copy of David (didn't see the real David!), Santa Croce Square and the Uffuzi gallery (again, didn't go inside.) Not as impressed with the Florence portion of the tour as we had been with Rome. Then on to Pisa. Such a tourist trap...but the bell tower, baptistery and cathedral are spectacular! Plenty of time for pictures and shopping. Another great day! Awoke the next day to find we were docked in a picture perfect Port...Corsica! Beautiful bay and city center. Spent the morning exploring on our own...finally a Port where you could walk off the ship and straight into the action. Enjoyed an early lunch at a quaint cafe and dusted off some rusty high school french to order. Then we had a ship's tour with the wonderfully informed guide Katrine. She took us to the Fesch Museum and shared her extensive art knowledge with us all. Off to Napoleon's birth home (Corsicans have never forgiven him for leaving and not bringing more wealth and fame to the Island) and the town's Cathedral. On our own we made a dash for nutella crepes and then back to the ship. Only complaint about Corsica was that we didn't spend more time at this quaint stop. Final day on the ship was at sea. Again, sunny but cool. We used the time to rest and reflect on our wonderful vacation. We spent a week in Spain (in Marbella) after the cruise and then a few days in London before coming home. Spent the last day on the ship making plans for part two of our trip. The internet cafe was well used by us! Debarkation was early (8:30), but painless. Off the ship and to a taxi in less than a half hour. We were dropped at the train station in Malaga where we rented a car from Hertz (great train station, easy car rental.) Overall, we found the cruise a great "cheat sheet" way to tour Europe...a chance to see a lot in a relatively painless way...surrounded by people who spoke English and were always willing to help. AOS is a clean and well maintained (although dated) ship. We'd recommend this itinerary and will definitely take another Mediterranean cruise in the next few years (longer next time...probably a 12 night.) Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
My DW and I celebrated our 25th Anniversary by traveling to Spain. As part of the trip, we took a 5-day RCCL cruise on the Adventure of the Seas from Malaga, Spain. We had three ports: Palma, Mallorca; Ajaccio, Corsica; and Toulon, France. ... Read More
My DW and I celebrated our 25th Anniversary by traveling to Spain. As part of the trip, we took a 5-day RCCL cruise on the Adventure of the Seas from Malaga, Spain. We had three ports: Palma, Mallorca; Ajaccio, Corsica; and Toulon, France. The cruise ported in Barcelona, Spain. We had a marvelous time on the AOS. The trip got off to a terrific start in that the morning we left the USA to fly over we had received notification that we had been up-graded to a junior suite from a balcony cabin. Boy were we spoiled in the JS. Thanks RCCL for making our trip one we will always remember. We departed for Spain a few days early and rented a cozy apartment in Malaga. It was down in the central area about a 10-minute walk to the port. We cannot say enough about Malaga. It is one of the best-kept secrets in Spain. The sites were great and the people very friendly. We would go back in a heartbeat. The embarkation was a breeze and we were on the ship in less than 30 minutes. The AOS is in terrific shape. We ate all of our meals in the Windjammer and were quite pleased. There was always quite a selection, including carved turkey on Thanksgiving night. There were more than 30 different countries represented amongst the passengers. There were more Americans than had been on previous AOS cruises from Malaga this season. The weather was bright and sunny the first half of the trip before the cold front settled in across much of Europe. The final two days of the cruise the temps were unseasonably cool. We were dressed in layers and did not have any problems. We liked the shows on board. There was a Temptations tribute from a group of five men from South Africa that was especially good. One note is that the shows were not as well attended as we had observed on other cruises. The three ports were all very interesting. We especially liked Palma and Ajaccio. The Cathedral and Almudaina Palace are must-sees in Palma. The debarkation in Barcelona was a piece of cake. We hopped a cab and stayed at the Hilton Diagonal Mar for a couple of days post-cruise. We can't say enough about the entire trip. We had another outstanding experience with RCCL. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
The cruise was wonderful, actually exceeded our expectations. It was second cruise for me and my wife both in thirties. We left kids at home and did not regret about it even for a second. But let me start from the air flight, which was a ... Read More
The cruise was wonderful, actually exceeded our expectations. It was second cruise for me and my wife both in thirties. We left kids at home and did not regret about it even for a second. But let me start from the air flight, which was a nightmare delivered by American Airlines: 1. Flight from JFK to Madrid was delayed for 5 hours. As a result we missed our connection flight to Malaga 2. Of course luggage was delayed and delivered only next morning about an hour before we were leaving to the sea port. So here is the conclusion: arrive to the embarkation port at least 1-2 days before the cruise starts. 3. Our flight back to US was late too. And again same story and even worse: last flight cancelled no meal/accommodations from AA and delayed baggage again. No excuse and nothing reimburse from AA. Luckily as it was so bad in the air, it was extremely good at the sea: We stayed at AC Malaga hotel one night before cruise. Good location, close to the city center and sea port, English speaking stuff. They helped us a lot when luggage was lost. I do not speak Spanish at all, and all Spanish people I met there do not speak English either. So sometimes we had a hard time trying to explain something. Embarkation was smooth and fast, pretty long lines but moving very quickly. It took us about 15-20 minutes to get to the ship and Windjammer for lunch. We had balcony stateroom which was great. Most of the time Mediterranean is smooth in summer, so it is a big plus. We had lunch on a balcony few times. By the way a lot of Spanish on board and very few children. We had an early seating for dinner. I consider it a big advantage, you have enough time to sleep and wake up early. It saves your time for ports and shore excursions. Food was great, European style. Windjammer cafe was crowded sometimes, but it does not really matter because you can take food into your stateroom. I was surprised but shore excursions were great and not pricey at all. E.g $50 per person for 4 hours Palma de Majorca City tour. I can compare because we also took a separate tour in Toledo from different tour operator: much worse and expensive. Tour was probably designed for American teens: a lot of useless entertainment, lack of historical information etc. For us of course Rome was the most interesting place. We took a train from Civitaveccia. It is even faster than taxi, very convenient and cost is 9 euro per person which a super deal comparing to taxi or bus transfer. In Ajaccio I'd suggest to visit Napoleon's museum. Other than that there is nothing to do in this port. Beach, beach, beach... Palma is pretty interesting place to visit, especially cathedral and old castle on top of the hill. About entertainment. Maybe it was not as good as expected, but it pertains only to production shows. Ice show was superb. Almost forgot: casino. I lost money this time. Not too much, but it was kinda weird. First day I won almost everywhere and I guess all other people won too. After that something changed, kept loosing money every time I played. We disembarked around 9 a.m, had plenty of time because our train was leaving at 11 a.m. Taxi from Malaga sea port to the train station - 12 euros, about 10 minutes drive. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
We've recently finished the 5 night Western Mediterranean cruise, departing Barcelona on RC's Adventure of the Seas. As we had also done a Western Caribbean cruise with Carnival, a few weeks earlier, we had a great chance to ... Read More
We've recently finished the 5 night Western Mediterranean cruise, departing Barcelona on RC's Adventure of the Seas. As we had also done a Western Caribbean cruise with Carnival, a few weeks earlier, we had a great chance to compare the 2 cruiselines side-by-side. Both cruises were done on our honeymoon. We can confidently say that Carnival won in practically every category. This rather surprised us, as we had read in forums online that Royal Caribbean was supposed to be the 'classier' cruiseline. Here were the major differences: Food: Carnival's food was simply amazing. I am a real foodlover, and we really could not find any fault at all with the food on the Carnival cruise. The Deli section on Carnival (where you can order things like pastrami on rye) was sadly missing on the Adventure of the Seas, and the quality of the salad bar, hot meals, and desserts on the Adventure ship was poor. The *best* dessert we had on RC was worse than the *worst* dessert we had on the Carnival cruise. It was as if the recipes used on RC were just not tested enough (the staff on RC are not allowed to actually alter any of the recipes themselves, and must follow them blindly, so they can hardly be blamed for the bland food). The night-time dining experience was a disappointment on RC. We had specifically requested a table for two, and given that it was our honeymoon, thought that surely we could be accommodated (there were very few other honeymooners on board). As it turned out, we were dumped at a table with 6 other people, all from the same family. On Carnival, we could choose whether we wanted to sit at a table for 2 each night (which we did), and we were always able to, given that Carnival has a *lot* more of them. Also, late dining on RC is just *too* late, starting at 9:15pm. Meals often didn't finish until well after 11pm. Service was also markedly slower on RC than on Carnival. Many other things (such as RC having pre-packaged butter packets, rather than Carnival's special whipped butter, made dining less enjoyable on RC). Staff: RC's staff pretty much all had a chip on their shoulders. Genuine smiles were nowhere to be seen. I actually would've settled for 'indifference' but the staff were often plain rude. Carnival's staff were *always* cheerful, and really great fun. The difference was extraordinary. The cruise director was 100 times better on Carnival. Look of the Ships: Carnival ship design was far more interesting and exciting, with each area of the ship being based around a different 'legend'. The Adventure of the Seas' design was far from inspiring, featuring bland modern art. RC also failed to do anything for our honeymoon, even though our booking agency informed them about it. I asked them at the end why we hadn't received any special treatment at all, and they said they had no record that it was our honeymoon. Once finding out it was our honeymoon, there was no 'sorry' or any attempt at all to make up for the failing. Carnival, on the other hand, brought us a special cake during dinner service, and even had numerous staff sing us a special honeymoon song, which was fantastic. We also met another couple of the RC cruise, and funnily enough, they had the exact same opinion about the difference between Carnival and Royal Caribbean. They also thought that Carnival was far superior. It is very unlikely that we will use RC again for a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
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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