Sail Date: March 2012
Flew into San Juan on sat. Stayed at courtyard Marriott miramar. Fine hotel looks just like other courtyards. Had the best shirt steak we have ever had at restaurant down the street to the right across from arts center, name started with a ... Read More
Flew into San Juan on sat. Stayed at courtyard Marriott miramar. Fine hotel looks just like other courtyards. Had the best shirt steak we have ever had at restaurant down the street to the right across from arts center, name started with a "P" front desk told us about it! Sunday stored bags at barrachina in OSJ had lunch and their famous pina colada! We got to cruise terminal at 2:00, I thought to myself it was the worst time we could be arriving because of reviews saying to arrive early, but we had spent time shopping in OSJ. Embarkation turned out to be a piece of cake!! No lines at all! left taxi handed off bags, immediately got sea pass and boarded by 2:25. I'm glad we didn't waste our time waiting in a line before the doors are even open! I thought the ship looked great! The main dining room was beautiful, largest chandelier I have ever seen! Beautiful wood staircase. We ate here every night and enjoyed the food very much. Not 5 star, but we were not expecting 5 star. Windjammer food was also very good! Our two cabins were inside, one standard one with window looking out on promenade. It has been years since staying in inside cabin, we usually have balcony but this was last minute cruise and Florida resident special was on inside cabins only! Cabins were clean and not worn at all! My teens really enjoyed looking out window onto parade and disco party on promenade. However if you are a light sleeper and go to bed before midnight this is not the cabin for you! But if you are booking an inside the ones looking onto promenade do not seem like inside cabins at all! We loved the ice show, get tickets at 3:30 studio b embarkation day. There was a line when we got there at 3:15 but at 3:30 got tickets for our 1st choice of nights. Dancers were good, comedian was funny. One night we almost did not go to show because it was a woman singer, we thought it would be boring for kids. We decided to try it anyway--she was fabulous, very funny! Magician on last night was hilarious! We went to trivia everyday in the schooner bar-really enjoyable! Schooner bar is magnificent-all wood-I don't think they are building newer cruise ships with as much detail as this ship! Ports: St croix -did a tour for$25 each at stand on pier. It was ok enjoyed going to hazels fruit market but didn't care for the rest of the island. St Maarten -did taxi tour. Loved seeing planes take off and land at maho beach. We were one of seven ships in port this day so traffic on roads was terrible. Wasted alot of time in traffic, if lots of ships in port on yr day I suggest just going to one location not whole island! Maho beach was a treat!! Antigua-took taxi to jolly beach, driver was Peter who told us about the island on the way, he was great! Jolly beach was beautiful. We rented a jetski and kayak, are at restaurant food and drunks fabulous and cheap!! St Lucia-treetop triple adventure zip line! Loved it! Well organized and friendly!!! We are still talking about it!!! Barbados -catamaran snorkel with sea turtles on Bolados! Great trip lots of turtles and luch was included-BBQ chix and fried fish, salad, cole slaw, Mac and cheese, run punch beer soft drinks!!! Crew was very friendly! If you are taking children though I would bring kid mask and snorkel, they only have one size . Day at sea-this is the only day we felt like we were on a ship with many people and then only at the pool. We went to Johnny rockets like everyone else and had a wait- food was a big disappointment , buffet looked great should have gone there instead. We loved the blue note club at top back of ship, great view live jazz or salsa music. There is a room with board games right next door, we played games in blue note while listening to music!! Never crowded I think people don't know about it-best music on ship! Disembarkation was simple. We had an early flight, signed up for self disembark, doors opened at 7:30 we were in taxi 7:35. Great cruise! I hate reading the negative reviews, people you are on a fabulous vacation where many people are at work or can't afford to go on a cruise! Just enjoy the experience and don't look for things to complain about! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
Overall a great cruise being our first time to the Caribbean. Not all tropical beaches as one might expect from the brochures - these massive ships tend to dock in deep water ports which are pretty much the same the world over.Worked well ... Read More
Overall a great cruise being our first time to the Caribbean. Not all tropical beaches as one might expect from the brochures - these massive ships tend to dock in deep water ports which are pretty much the same the world over.Worked well making our own economical on shore arrangements to tour the islands - felt like mini adventures each time! The one pre-booked exception was the Scenic Railway on St Kitts. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!. It was great - fantastic calypso atmosphere by all on board, free drinks and charming acapella singing. 3 hour fun, comfortable ride and very informative trip around the island. Bridgtown surprisingly drab and St Croix not much better. Cloudy weather didn't help. Antigua and St Maarten best beaches, easily accessible.Travelling with friends however along with a great ship made up for any itinerary disappointments or over expectation on our part. Steel band on some of the piers created brilliant atmosphere.It was very evident that the Adventure of the Seas was doing running repairs before relocating at the end of the trip to Malaga. One main deck jacussi under repair and closed off with polythene for most of the trip was an eyesore. Came back one afternoon to find all the balcony hand rails had been spray oiled - no warning or apology for this. Too sticky for the rest of the trip to lean on - not what you expect when paying a balcony premium.Stateroom otherwise fine and as ever attended to by very hard working and lovely staff. Kept very clean and tidy. The sofa however badly stained as was our friend's next door. No amount of routine cleaning would freshen that furniture - needs replacing or deep cleansing treatment. Shame didn't pay as much attention to this as they do to painting and spraying the gleaming white hull.Last gripe from as I say an otherwise great trip was the pre cruise overnight in San Juan Hilton. Arrangement a room only basis - seems mean of RCI not to run to a breakfast. It's not the measly $15 it's the principle. Arriving at 11:30 pm you don't want to be quibbling over a croissant! Learned to love the big ship experience after a great cruise previously on the smaller, more intimate Splendour of the Seas. The variety of on board entertainment and facilities has to take the edge. A full 24/7 vacation.Top marks and sincere thanks to the RCI crew and staff for a fabulous time though we will read these reviews to consider an alternative line for next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2011
We opted to stay in San Juan for a night on both ends of our cruise and we LOVED it. We stayed at the San Juan Marriott Stellaris (to get points, and it's close to the port.) We will try another place next time. Pricey with cranky ... Read More
We opted to stay in San Juan for a night on both ends of our cruise and we LOVED it. We stayed at the San Juan Marriott Stellaris (to get points, and it's close to the port.) We will try another place next time. Pricey with cranky staff. We got to the port about 1pm- huge lines. I stayed in line to get into the building, while my husband and daughter stood in line to get rid of the luggage. It only took about 45" total to get through and onto the ship, but I was shocked at how many people were already there....Our room- 8654- was a balcony room and was ready when we arrived. We walked in and.... smelled urine. Like "Uh-oh, I'm in a nursing home" odor. We opened the balcony door and the cabin door to air it out. These rooms are past the time to fix up. Carpet faded, colors dated, wood finish peeled off the vanity, rust on the metal surfaces in the bathroom, mold on the grout in the shower, etc. And the smell..... Our room steward said he would "alert maintainance", and thought it was because the water was turned off, but it continued to smell the entire week. At times there was a smell of poo in the hallway (and i heard other guests complaining about the odors), so something is not quite right with the pipes..... I'm just glad we had the balcony door to open up! (Just an aside about the balconies- you ARE allowed to smoke on the balconies, and the cigar smoker that smoked near us ruined it for us. We couldn't have the door open or sit out there without being in the stench.) We went right to the windjammer to eat- and loved it immediately. We ate lunch and breakfast there almost every day. I found the omelet making station in the back (the Island cafe?) and headed there each morning. Lots of variety and the food was good. I was so hoping for some papaya and mango, but they have the melon selection and pineapple for "exotics." That was the only thing I missed. We had first seating dinner and sat at a table of 8. We love to meet new people and had great tablemates. Our waiter Daniel, was probably the best waiter we've had in all our cruises, and his asst. Mark was awesome as well. I thought the food was just ok. Lobster night was yummy. I had a few misses (the beef stroganoff, a pasta/mushroom dish, a steak). Desserts were good- just not great. The entire staff could not have been more friendly and helpful. The only commlaint was the guest relation staff aren't as helpful as they use to be with info about the ports, cab fares, etc. When the excursion desk is closed, you really are on your own. Our first day was a day at sea. The solarium pool was quieter and way less crowded and our go-to place to cool off. We toured the ship and for as big as it is, wasn't hard to navigate. The promenade was very cool- there is a cafe there to get coffee and pastries in the early am before the windjammer opens if you are early risers.... We played mini golf one night. We wanted to rock climb and in line skate, but there didn't seem to be enough time to do it all. We did visit the casino (happened to be on a smoke free night, so it was pretty empty) and played the slot machines. Not big gamblers, but it was fun.One of our favorite things to do after dinner was go to the front of the ship on deck 5 (where the helicopter landing is) as it is really dark there and a fabulous place to star gaze....The only show we went to was the Beatles show- it was good. I wish we had gone to the ice show- we heard it was great. Our teenage daughter really wasn't into the shows...Ports: Our first stop was Curacau. We took a taxi to Cas Abou Beach. It was a 45" drive and we shared a taxi with another couple. He charged us $15 per person each way- came back and picked us up also. It was beautiful. We were there from 9:45am to 2pm. We had lunch at the "hut"- menu was in Dutch, so I ordered the only thing I recognized- "cheeseburger". I'm not sure it was beef. Not too tasty. Next time I would just order a big fruit smoothie...We walked back through the town when we got back- did a little shopping.Aruba- We went horseback riding in the national park. This is not for the occasional rider. This is a rocky,hilly, desert like environment- very hot- thank goodness we went in the morning. I only ride occasionally- and my horse (and others-) were "spirited". I got scared and asked for a helmet! My daughter is an experienced rider and loved it. It was very difficult to keep the horses to a walk. They wanted to run. One guy lost his saddle, and the guide was way ahead- that made me a little nervous. We stopped at an absolutely beautiful part of the ocean and rested. I think my horse was tired, because he was a little better behaved on the way back. We did get to canter through the sand and ocean for a bit on the return trip. We ate lunch on the ship and then took a cab to Palm Beach. Super crowded. Water was warm but really cloudy. $10 apiece for a chair for a couple of hours! I'll find a better beach next time. We've been to Eagle beach before and it was much less crowded, but not much in the way of amenities. We got some shopping in as well after the beach.Dominica- one of our favorite islands. You have to go on a tour to see this island! Even if you just drive around- do it. It's beautiful- a rain forest, so very different than Aruba. We did the river to ocean kayak tour. We loved it, but it was pretty scary. The first rapids did some folks in- I got to ride with a guide since my daughter rode with my husband. The second rapids had less "casualties". We kayaked into the ocean, as in: paddle hard into the waves, crash down, paddle into the next wave, crash, repeat.... It was a blast. We kayaked around the ocean, stopped at an area where there was a fresh water pool to swim in, then kayaked back up the river to a spot to get back into the vans. They had free drinks, fruit, and "local food"- some fish/ rice dish and cooked banana that wasn't too tasty. Super friendly guides. They were called the "Wacky Rollers"- had tubing adventures also. St. Thomas- We've been there lots, and wanted to see a different beach. We picked Secret Harbour. Getting to the taxis was CONFUSING- there are 2 ports in St. Thomas, and we were at the one without the mall area right off the ship. This one had a mall area that you walked to, with signs for taxi stands, but we had to ask 2 different people where the heck they were. We got one of those trolley type taxis- We got dropped off about 9:45am till 3pm- he came back for us. Only $10/person each way. I loved this place. Small, so not really a beach to take long walks on, but what a great way to relax at the end of our week. We ate at the restaurant- service slow, but the food was awesome. Absolutely heaven.....Disembarkation- Since we were going to stay in San Juan, we figured we would be the last ones off the ship. Because we were platinum members, we were assigned a dining room to wait in that had a continental breakfast. So of course we ate at the windjammer; took our time. Got to the dining room about 8:30am only to find that they were herding us off the ship! Trying to find our "color" of luggage stash was an adventure (do not go by the colored banners hanging from the ceiling)... But we finally got all our stuff and off we went. Back to the Marriott to hit the beach!All in all- we had a great trip. We tend to pick cruises by itinerary. But I think I would not recommend this ship. Maybe a newer RC. I'm glad to see Celebrity back in the Caribbean- maybe them next time???? Read Less
Sail Date: April 2010
Just got back from our spring break cruise, brought our 2 (17 yr old) boys with us. Had 2 rooms, balcony for us and inside cabin for the boys. We were able to put the boys together although "officially" we were to split them up ... Read More
Just got back from our spring break cruise, brought our 2 (17 yr old) boys with us. Had 2 rooms, balcony for us and inside cabin for the boys. We were able to put the boys together although "officially" we were to split them up and have an adult in the room with them. Very crowded ship but it didn't seem crowded except the elevators at popular times. We came in a day early and stayed in Old San Juan, travel was easy and smooth. Got to the ship at 11 am and only waited about 15 minutes before we got on board, again, very smooth and easy. Rooms were clean and we had plenty of room to put things. We had a starboard side room and unfortunately the port side saw the island coming in, except St Thomas, which you could see from both sides. However, we were able to see the sunset on 3 of the sail aways, hence a good trade off. Lots of activities for everyone, all were good. The basketball court probably needs to have a higher net around the court when the soccer tournaments are done because they lost quite a few balls overboard, hence the tourney stopped! Food was good to great. Windjammer is basic buffet food but was good. Go to the back of the room which has another line - quicker. Sometimes different sides of the lines had different foods, so be sure to look. Tables were hard to come by during the peak times. We did the My time dining and were a little disappointed in our table location half the time, which was in a busy area. We switched 2 of the nights which gave us different waiters each time. I also thought you cold order off the menu, but we were not allowed, you had to order from what was on the menu. We did Portofino's one night and it was excellent Weather was marginal and that was disappointing. Easy to get off and on the ship at the different ports. Be sure to bring a photo ID in St Thomas, as its needed when you get back on the ship. This was not mentioned in the daily newsletter. Also have your cruise card when you depart the ship, as I heard some folks threw theirs away when leaving their cabin on the last day. We stayed an extra day in San Juan and were glad to have a day to relax before we flew out on Monday. Would definitely go on this cruise again! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2009
I have not a single bad thing to say about this ship, Royal Caribbean or any part of our cruise. We arrived on Sunday around 12. We waited about 5 minutes in a short line. We went to the counter, received our sea pass were in the ship in ... Read More
I have not a single bad thing to say about this ship, Royal Caribbean or any part of our cruise. We arrived on Sunday around 12. We waited about 5 minutes in a short line. We went to the counter, received our sea pass were in the ship in less than 15 minutes time from when we arrived. We came to the counter where they were selling the cups you can buy for unlimited soda for the week. We bought three and did not get our moneys worth. It is a very nice cup that we brought home and will use. I would recommend just purchasing one and sharing! We ate at the Windjammer. They had an excellent selection of food and everything was very fresh and did not taste like typical buffet style food. They always have several lines open so we never waited at any point. The lines always flowed smoothly. We were able to get in our room at 2pm which our luggage was already there. Very impressive!! We changed and went to the pool, no problems finding a chair. This cruise was sold out and we never had an issue finding chairs. They might not be in the exact spot you want but you can find them. The elevators at time get a little busy but never had to wait too long. Our waiter, Ozcan, was incredible. He had the most wonderful disposition. He was never without a smile on his face. We had a 4 year old and 8 year old. He was incredible and patient with them. They adored him. Our waiters would jump through hoops to get us what we wanted. The food in the dining room was excellent. There was a good selection of food. If there was something that wasn't on the menu, they would do their best to get it for. If they couldn't then, they would have it the next night!! All of the employees that we encountered always had a smile on their face and were so accommodating. Our cabin steward was also very sweet. She was such a hard worker, no matter what time of day or night we left our room, she could always be found. She remembered the kids name with only asking once, she would remember our activities for the day and always ask how it was. She came in our room several times a day and always made sure we had fresh towels. Our room was very clean. The bed was very comfortable and the sheets and blankets were very soft and nice. The bathroom was good size for a ship and so was the shower. There was plenty of storage. We were able to empty our 5 suitcases into the closet and drawers without a problem! It was very refreshing to see employees everyday sanitizing the handrails inside and out. Sickness was a huge fear of mine and that put me at ease. My kids went to the kids club the last night. If only I would have done it sooner. They immediately put the kids at ease and they had a great time. They were extremely cautious about the check in and check out process. They had excellent things planned for them. We did play bingo once but did not make it to any shows. I do regret this. We did however spend time with the kids on the rock climbing, putt putt, etc. The disembarkation process was very smooth. We were off the ship in about 15 minutes. We were very sad to leave and could have easily spent another week! We visited St. Thomas, ST. Martin, Curacao and Aruba. We stayed prior to our cruise at the Holiday Inn Express in the Candida area. This was priced reasonable, close to the beach and clean. We did the Jolly Pirates excursion in Aruba. This was a blast even if you never got off to snorkel. I would probably recommend booking on your own and not through the ship. If you book on your own, you get three stops and lunch is included. We did the dolphin encounter in Curacao. This was a great experience and we loved it. We didn't care for much in Curacao and don't care to go back there. In St. Martin we rode at Lucky Stables. We had to book this on our own because my daughter is only 8. This place was awesome. The horses were well taken care of. The ride in the ocean was excellent and our guide was great with our daughter and accommodating to what we wanted to do. We also did the Beach Break excursion to Orient Beach through the ship. This was nice, we had 2 full hours at the beach, unlimited rum punch and chairs with cushions. The beach was beautiful but the waves were huge, maybe not ideal for little ones. In St. Thomas we took a cab to Megans Bay. We have been here before and love it. It is a beautiful, no waves, laid back beach.. San Juan airport is my only complaint. What a nightmare!! You had to wait in several lines wrapped around the place. One for agriculture, your airline, then security. Make sure you leave atleast 4 hours before your flight leaves or stay an extra day! I would give RC a 100% rating! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2009
Adventure of the Seas - March 08-15 2009 This was a second cruise on the Adventure of the Seas for my wife and I and the first for the couple that sailed with us. The four of us are all around 30, have no children, and cruised ... Read More
Adventure of the Seas - March 08-15 2009 This was a second cruise on the Adventure of the Seas for my wife and I and the first for the couple that sailed with us. The four of us are all around 30, have no children, and cruised together for the first time last year. We'd booked directly through Royal Caribbean and opted to book our air travel from Milwaukee to San Juan through them as well. I'm not sure if this was our wisest decision; going out, our first flight left at 6 AM the day of the cruise. We probably would have been happier flying out the day before or two days before and staying overnight in San Juan. It would be nice to see more options of this kind offered by the cruise line. Still, with only one short layover, we got to San Juan without any problems. The cruise line representatives at the airport seemed a little confused as to what was going on, but before long they had us on our transfer bus to the port. The bus driver told us a little bit about Puerto Rico and the things we passed on the way. Here's one thing to be aware of: there's a duty-free liquor store in the port of San Juan, and it has a giant sign proclaiming that, yes, you can buy alcohol and take it on your ship. They neglect to point out that Royal Caribbean's policy is to take it and return it to you at the end of the cruise. Despite knowing this had been the case, our friends were suckered by the sign and bought a bottle of rum to take aboard. I'm sure this makes sales for the port shop, but I have to think the deception of it has to generate bad feelings. I also have to think that Royal could manage to do something about this even though it's something the duty free shop is doing, I'm sure it makes some of their customers angry at the cruise line. The Adventure of the Seas was every bit as big and beautiful as I remembered. More than any other cruise line I've experienced or docked beside, Royal is extremely vigorous about cleaning, painting, and maintaining their ships. No matter what hour of the day, if you're paying attention, you'll notice maintenance staff hard at work. They do a fantastic job, and it really shows. Both couples booked promenade staterooms next to each other. These are interior rooms with a sort of bay window that overlooks the promenade that runs through the interior of the ship. The rooms were small, as most cruise staterooms are, but clean and well-maintained. We knew from past experience that we'd spend very little time in our cabins, so the size wasn't a concern to us. Our stateroom attendant, George, was very friendly. He took care of anything we needed or asked for very quickly, and did a great job maintaining the room. I've taken eight or so cruises over the years, and George is the best at this job I've seen so far. He did a lot to make us comfortable on board. My Time Dining was offered as an option on this cruise, but we decided to do traditional dining anyway we like to meet new people and hear about their adventures on board and in each port. There's always so much more to do than we have time for, and it's fun to hear a little bit about some of the other choices we could have made. The four of us were paired for dinner with another two couples from Seattle that were traveling together. They were nice people and we had fun eating dinner with them. I've heard much ado about cutbacks and was a little afraid to find out what dinner would be like. I needn't have worried the food was great, and there were always multiple enticing choices. Our waiters were nice and clearly trying very hard, but unfortunately paled a bit by comparison to our waiter from last year's cruise, who had probably been the best waiter I'd had yet. That's really not entirely fair to this year's waiters, though the couple traveling with us joked that they would contact RC customer service, find out where that waiter was, and book whichever cruise would let them request him. Our service was a bit slow at times we were rarely in any rush and certainly never asked to be served faster, but dinner usually took over two hours. The only problem with this is that the scheduling of evening shows and other activities seems to assume you'll be done earlier, such as the 7:45 one-seating-only show on Day 7. You're not going to make it to a show where the best seats are gone by 7:30 when dinner finishes at 8:15. Despite any of these minor complaints, service overall was good. We had dinner on Day 2 in Portofino for the Murder Mystery Dinner. The cast for the dinner is pulled from the production show dancers, and their performances for the dinner were fantastic they had a lot of energy and seemed to really have their characters down, as is necessary for the partially improvisational nature of the show. I was a little disappointed that we didn't have more opportunity to interrogate the various characters you get enough background on each of them to build a plausible case for them as the murderer, and are instructed that they'll each lie. A couple questions or less for each isn't enough to really reason truth out of that. This was the first time we've done the MMD, but we know people who have done them on Royal in the past and were expecting a different setup. Overall, the cast was great but I didn't love the format. I also wondered how I'd book this in the future; that is, how would one know if a previous mystery is re-running? As far as I can tell this information isn't available before boarding the ship, and the MMD in this case sold out over a month before the sail date. The Portofino dinner itself was good. I'm not sure if I can say I've really had the Portofino experience yet, as the menu for the MMD was different and presented fewer choices than the standard Portofino menu. The food was good, though, and the service was uniquely synchronized/choreographed. It was something to see. We also ate at Johnny Rockets one night. The food and service were both solid; no complaints here. Our breakfasts and lunches were sometimes in port, sometimes in the dining room, sometimes at the Promenade Cafe, and sometimes in the Windjammer. The food and service on the ship was good all around, and I felt like we had a lot of good choices in terms of cuisine and venue. I hadn't tried the Promenade Cafe before this cruise, and I'd definitely been missing out it's open longer than any of the other options, had good pizza and sandwiches, and had desert options that changed each day and were different from the main dining room and Windjammer. The PC staff was very friendly and helpful. We probably stopped at most of the bars on the ship at one point or another, sometimes for a drink but more often to get our unlimited soda package tumblers refilled. Service for all of this was great across the board. I went to see most of the headline shows on board and generally enjoyed them. Day 1 had a comedian who was decent; he returned at midnight on Day 2 for a more "adult" show. Day 2 had a singer; I wish the Cruise Compass had given me a little more information about his act or material. He was a great entertainer, but sang material from before my time that I didn't have much interest in. I'm sure the cruisers a generation older than me loved it, but it just wasn't for me. On the other hand, most of the Nelson brothers' material was also from before my time, but they put on such an engaging show that they easily kept my attention through the whole thing. I would pay to see that show again. The RC singers and dancers were as great on their nights as I've come to expect, and I was also thrilled that there was a second night of late night comedy with an even funnier comedian. The ice show was also worth seeing, although I would say not quite as strong as the ice show we saw last year on the Voyager of the Seas. Overall, the worst thing I could say about a full week of shows is that one of the shows was clearly very good but just wasn't for me content-wise. I feel like the quality of the entertainment is one area where Royal Caribbean really pulls ahead of the pack. The pool and sundeck areas were largely as I've come to expect; everything was clean and well-maintained. A small section of chairs (in the 'stairs' between the main pool and the sky bar) was reserved for suite guests. Overall this made little to no impact on overall chair availability relative to the usual cruise ship chair hogs. As always, there was a great variety of other activities and entertainment going on around the clock. I wish I'd brought a highlighter to better mark the things that seemed fun in my daily Cruise Compass a couple times I saw something I'd wanted to do, then forgot about it until it was too late. I have to give special mention to the night the Solarium pool area was transformed into a South-Beach-style nightclub that was a very cool production and a very creative use of cruise ship real estate. Photos on board were much as I've come to expect, with one key difference: photos were now sorted in the photo area on deck three according to a number on my Seapass, rather than according to the event. In other words, all of our pictures were in the same place. This is one of those ideas that, having seen it in action, I can't understand how it was ever done any other way. We've cruised enough now that we've largely lost our appetite for going to the photo area each night and diligently searching out any new photos of our group. We definitely picked up some photos this time around that I'm sure we would have never seen at all if they had been organized the old way. Disembarkation from the ship and port perspective was fine; one disappointment was that, unlike the last time we had cruised out of San Juan two years prior, we weren't able to do our airline check-in at the port. Other people still seemed able to, and the people there we asked for answers didn't seem able to coherently explain what had changed or why we couldn't now. The San Juan airport for the trip home was a travel nightmare unlike anything I'd ever seen. A new USDA agricultural inspection added the need to wait in extra lines, and the airport staff somehow didn't seem to have made the adjustment to handle it in the months since its introduction. The US Airways counter that we and seemingly thousands (the line was twice as long as the entire terminal was wide) of other departing cruisers needed to check in at was grossly understaffed, and most of the staff that was present were lazy, surly, or both. We'd gotten to the airport three full hours before our flight, and it wasn't nearly enough I do give some credit to the US Airways employee who walked the check-in line and jumped us ahead in time to make our flight, but she loses it plus interest for telling the curmudgeonly gentleman who was upset about our being jumped ahead that he should swear at me instead of her because it was my fault that I hadn't gotten there earlier. If you need to fly out of San Juan, my advice is to check the number of cruise ships also docking the same day. If there are others, I'd strongly advise staying in town an extra day and flying when it's less crazy. We'd flown out of San Juan before and had no problems, although that had been before the extra USDA inspection. This time around, with a total of 3 ships in port, it was beyond belief. The security lines were the longest I've seen in a decade of business travel, and even the lines at the airport restaurants were huge. I can't even imagine what this airport will look like when there are 4 or more ships in port, and there are such days. There was no time to buy lunch in the airport before boarding, and all food on the plane sold out long before making it to our part of the plane. It was a very hungry day. Again, it would be nice if the cruise line could offer some flight options here that would involve flying a day later. I wouldn't really want to take another day of vacation, but it would be worth it to be going home focused on the great parts of my vacation rather than the many airport frustrations. Overall we all had a really great time. I wish the cruise lines would offer some more flexible travel options for folks who need to fly to their departure port, but still they provided a fun vacation with great food, great service, and more fun things to do than we had time to do them for a reasonable price. I'd sail on the Adventure again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
I went on this cruise as a college spring break with two girl friends. The three of us had an amazing time, even though (I'm pretty sure) we were the only college students on the boat. We really liked the RCI passenger makeup - ... Read More
I went on this cruise as a college spring break with two girl friends. The three of us had an amazing time, even though (I'm pretty sure) we were the only college students on the boat. We really liked the RCI passenger makeup - everyone seemed fun and easygoing. As 21-year olds we had no problems making friends with older passengers - many of whom where there in large groups. The ship was great. The ship was easy to move around; I think I prefer it to the Carnival or NCL ships I've been on in the past. However, it rocked more than other cruises I've been on - and I'm not one to easily become seasick. The food wasn't as good as I remembered on past cruises, but the service was superb - both in the dining room and at the bars across the ship. By far the best bar service I've had (judging from Carnival, RCI, and NCL). We didn't go to a lot of the shows, but the comedians and cruise-ship entertainment ("The Game") was pretty typical. The reason that we selected this cruise was a great price and the wonderful ports that we hadn't visited before. One warning - if you haven't been as far south as Aruba before - it is HOT. The sun is a lot stronger there than even in the Yucatan or Belize, which makes for a perfect winter escape (but bring sunscreen). Read Less
Sail Date: February 2009
We chose to book our own airfare and pre-cruise hotel in San Juan. The city is cruiser-friendly and it is very easy to get a cab to the pier or back to the airport at the end of the trip. Our time on Adventure of the Seas was just ... Read More
We chose to book our own airfare and pre-cruise hotel in San Juan. The city is cruiser-friendly and it is very easy to get a cab to the pier or back to the airport at the end of the trip. Our time on Adventure of the Seas was just perfect. The Promenade is wonderful, with great snacks, pizza, coffee, shops, etc. The buffet dining area has really great food, a clean environment, and very attentive employees to provide drinks and clear tables. Our dining room service was super. Our waiter, Gede, and assistant waiter, Andrei, were the best we've ever had. It seemed like the second we finished a drink or dinner roll, another appeared. Our food was served hot and fresh and was very good. One evening, our wait staff had to rush to serve a large table of diners who had arrived nearly an hour late, but the Head Waiter immediately came to our table to ensure that the level of service at our table was not interrupted. Our stateroom was a large family oceanview room at the front of the ship. Our family of five was very comfortable there. The stateroom was always neat and clean. We visited Aruba and went to DePalm Island. The snorkeling was terrific, the food was included, and the water park was great for kids. Our next stop was Curacao, which was beautiful. We did a short tour and then enjoyed quiet time on the ship. In St. Maarten, we went to Maho Beach on our own. Again, a beautiful place and easy to get to and from by taxi. The last stop was St. Thomas where our family split up and did some scuba diving and took a ride in a semi-sub. All of our excursions were well organized and fun. We do participate in Royal Caribbean's Crown and Anchor Society, the frequent cruiser program. The benefits of the program are great. We received priority embarkation and debarkation, baseball caps, tote bags, and a coupon book that allowed us free trips to Johnny Rockets, free drinks, etc. This trip was so great that we came home and booked another vacation on Adventure. It will be our third time, but the ship has so much to offer that boredom couldn't be and issue! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2008
For our annual Spring Break cruise, our family of 3 decided on the warm climate of the Southern Caribbean. Our family (Dad, Mom & Daughter, 14) have been on cruises for the last 3 years on Carnival Spirit class ships; two to the ... Read More
For our annual Spring Break cruise, our family of 3 decided on the warm climate of the Southern Caribbean. Our family (Dad, Mom & Daughter, 14) have been on cruises for the last 3 years on Carnival Spirit class ships; two to the Mexican Riviera and one to the Western Caribbean. Mom & Dad had been to the Southern Caribbean many years ago and thought it would be a great time to re-visit. For 2008 we were bit by cruise fever and booked this year's cruise two weeks after our 2007 cruise. After a fair amount of research we decided on Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas. None of our family had been on RCI before and we had heard so many great things about the line, we wanted to try it (our previous cruises being on Carnival, Norwegian, and Holland America). In booking this cruise, we booked direct with RCI and arranged all of our travel (including transfers) through them in order to guarantee not being responsible for missed/late flights. Coming from the Pacific Northwest (Seattle), with a fairly narrow window of vacation time, we didn't have time to get in a day early or out a day late. Our cruise documents came in on time and included, of course, the dreaded red eye flight to the San Juan, Puerto Rico embarkation point from Seattle via Washington, DC (Dulles/United Airlines). The flight, including connections, went well; and we arrived in plenty of time at the San Juan airport. We were, however, concerned that all of the 5 checked bags would make it all the way; in fact they did. There was a RCI agent near baggage claim who guided us to a meeting point, put us into single file, and marched us to our transfer vans. When we got there we were told to hand our baggage to their baggage handlers where they were tossed into the back of a small box van. Often you are told about tipping porters; here there was not really the opportunity and it was the last time we saw our bags until they showed up outside our room. For expediency's sake, I would recommend having your cruise tags on and all your items for the day with you before you leave baggage claim. The trip from the airport was relatively quick except for another party on the bus had become separated from another in their party and slowed us down by having to verify where all their passes were. The embarkation was the smoothest I think we have ever been through. We got to the ship around 11:30AM and were able to go through a shorter line as we didn't have any luggage to check. The check in was simple as Mom always completes the sea pass first and has everything organized perfectly. The trip through security and screening was no big deal and we were on board really quickly. Being the first trip on a ship as big as Adventure of the Seas, we were a little concerned about there being 'too many people' on the ship and it being too big. Carrying over 3000 passengers, Adventure carries about 1000 more passengers than Carnival's Spirit class vessels. In spite of that, it sure didn't feel that way. Waiting was really only a problem where it comes to elevators. The ship itself, to us, was beautiful; very nicely decorated though not gaudy. Materials seemed well chosen and of good quality. Our room, an outside cabin with balcony was clean and comfortable. It was probably smaller than the Carnival ships we have been on, with a little less storage. The room had a bunk (over the main bed) for our daughter; this was comfortable enough (except for dad regularly slamming his head into it) though the Carnival ships had a convertible sofa for this purpose. The sofa in our RC cabin was not very comfortable and largely useless. One of the best benefits of this cabin was that the door to the balcony was a sliding door that required no bungees to keep open! The deck chairs were comfortable. The bathroom was typical of most every other cruise ship we have been on; tight but efficient. This ship had a hard plastic shower enclosure so there was no wrestling with any shower curtain. Water was warm, to hot. The shower was relatively easy to control the temperature, but it was hard to get cold water at the sink sometimes. The toilet was sometimes reluctant to flush; but eventually it decided to after a few minutes. The layout of the ship was generally OK though getting around was more difficult than it seemed it should be. Elevator travel was pretty bad; especially after a shore excursion. Further, you couldn't skip up a floor and migrate to the other end of the ship to catch the other elevator bank as a lot of the lower floors do not 'go through'. As could be expected, these always seemed to be overly busy at meal time or when coming back from a shore excursion. Dining areas, including the Windjammer informal dining area, are on the aft end of the ship. The ship also had an ice rink, putting course, in line skating course and a basketball court. These seemed to get a fair amount of use; though with dad's recently torn ACL we didn't use a lot of them. The main pool deck is carpeted with 'Astroturf' which was cool to the feet; though you could still get some hot feet on the hard woods near the pool. There were the typical sea day scourges of lounge savers. We did not see RCI enforce this though we didn't have too much of a problem finding space in some nook or cranny. There is a small kid's pool/slide on the aft end that seemed popular. This was also near the kids clubs; our daughter didn't participate in any of these, nor the teen programs, so we can't really comment on them. The other common areas of the ship that we saw include the main promenade, libraries, lounges and internet 'cafes'. The promenade seemed, for some reason, smaller than the pictures we had seen of it. Nonetheless, it was nicely decorated, a good location for people watching or getting a drink. We didn't see a lot of food available as you would think in a typical pub/bar scene but you could probably find food somewhere else. There were also a number of shops down there that were selling the typical cruise fare of merchandise; nothing too special except for the cruise doggie T-shirts. The lowest aft floor had the photo display area and art display near the entrance to the ice rink. This trip we didn't feel the impact of ships photographers like we have in the past. We also didn't purchase any of the photos they took. The lines for many of the sessions seemed long as well. One of the main things people seem to comment on is the food. While our experience is largely a comparison from our Carnival Spirit class ships; suffice it to say we were disappointed in the food. This may be partly from high expectations and shouldn't be construed as saying the food was bad; however, the food was the most disappointing, to us. Simply put, we thought the menu was un-imaginative, bland and not up to the standards we have expected from our previous cruises. We are not really into haute cuisine, but thought it would be better than it was. We were told that this cruise had a new menu that was being worked through. There is room for improvement. None of the dinner dishes seemed to have any flair or spice to them. The steaks were marginal, seafood plain and chicken very average. One night there was a menu entitled "Brilliance of the Seas" so I doubt they were firing on all cylinders. No sign of fillet mignon; anywhere. For breakfast, we ate mainly in the Windjammer; this was pretty plain too. The sausage and potato offerings were bland and not too exciting; scrambled eggs varied by additives daily and there was also an omelet bar. There was no midnight chocolate extravaganza. While there were plenty of bars to get a drink or a soda, there was no quick-access lemonade/juice/ice water available right near the pool. Lunch was OK though limited in scope. The meals seemed largely the same day to day. Carnival had a rotating, made to order, menu that was both fun and tasty. RCI, while largely filling and OK to taste, was less than we expected. The entertainment on AOS was about what we had expected. The stage shows were what you would expect on the open seas; there is a reason these acts are on the sea and not on Broadway. That isn't a complaint, just a fact of life in our eyes. The ice show was really pretty good and should not be missed if you are looking for entertainment. Shore excursions!! Aruba was the first; mom & dad had been there before and had high hopes for this island. We had booked on the Jolly Pirates, private booking, but were cancelled due to 'mechanical problems' the week before the cruise. Conveniently, RCI closed its shore excursion bookings at the same time so we couldn't book through them, or anything else. Needless to say our back up was less than inspiring. Our advice, hit a beach straight away or do a jeep trip. Skip the sights of Aruba. Curacao, our second site, was great. We booked a tour through Curacao -ACTIEF, privately. They arranged a 'customized' tour that hit a lot of the island and some of the beaches. It was a lot of fun. Kudos to Howard, our guide, who made it most fun; probably the best guided tour we have been on. St. Maarten mom & daughter went to a beach (Oyster Bay - don't miss the infinity pool) and shopping. This was probably the best shopping opportunity for our family; especially if you are into 'purses'. Look for Sona or Kenny's on Front Street. Dad had booked an excursion on the Americas Cup sailing regatta, through the ship. If you are into sailing, and maybe if you are not, this was the BEST shore excursion that dad has ever been on. We raced a five leg race with a pair of original Americas Cup 12 meter yachts. Everyone wants to be on Stars & Stripes; we were on Canada 2, racing against Stars & Stripes and won. What fun! It can be a lot of work (grinders) but you can also enjoy the ride. A GREAT day. On St Thomas, we ditched shopping and booked a catamaran trip to St Johns for snorkeling, sun enjoyment, and drinks on the way back. This was great for us as it allowed us some relaxing downtime towards the end of the cruise. Other random comments: Drinks seemed more expensive than they should be; caveat emptor, and be aware of ways to minimize the hit. We had read about the 'make up' of the passenger clientele being skewed to a particular direction; this cruise was no different than any we had been on before and probably better behaved than some. The service was generally great; we would not discount RCI based on this. Our trip back from San Juan took TWO DAYS!! Booked through RCI on United we missed connections and spent a lost day in Washington DC. We were taken care of and put up in a nice place, but when you call RCI and ask about 'getting us home' they tell you that 'you have to talk to United; we have a contract with them.' What about our contract with RCI?!! In all, we had a great time. While we were disappointed in a number of factors, none of them ruined our trip. We probably would do this trip and other RCI trips, again but with different expectations. Read Less
Adventure of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 5.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 1.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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