My Dad (84) and I (43) had a great father/son cruise onboard the Adventure! My Dad stayed for almost a week at the Fountainbleau in Miami, and I joined him for the last couple of days. This was a very nice hotel, but I'd be happier ... Read More
My Dad (84) and I (43) had a great father/son cruise onboard the Adventure! My Dad stayed for almost a week at the Fountainbleau in Miami, and I joined him for the last couple of days. This was a very nice hotel, but I'd be happier spending half as much and staying more toward South Beach in a boutique hotel that includes breakfast (such as the Shepley, where we stayed last year).
On embarkation morning, we left Miami and took a Lyft to Port Everglades. The ride ran about $37 including tip, which was quite reasonable. If you have a cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale, but are considering staying in Miami, don't let the distance bother you. We arrived at the terminal at around 10:30, and I think we were on the ship before 11. We had a brief wait while the ship was still being cleared, but once they started calling groups, it was pretty easy to get everyone onboard, as there were only a few hundred early birds.
We most recently cruised on the Carnival Magic in October, which was a cruise we also enjoyed. The most noticeable difference between the appearance of the ships was the large amount of rust and lack of cleaning in some areas on the Magic, while the Adventure was kept much better. We didn't let this affect the enjoyment of our Magic cruise, but I just wanted to point out the difference in maintenance. I won't drone on about the ship itself, as it is easy enough to find information about the ship's facilities. I will say that even though this ship is a bit older than any of the Oasis class ships, there is still plenty to do.
This was one of the most active cruises in memory. I play all around the ship not unlike a teenager, and I seldom had "free" time, as I was constantly racing from one area to another. I love ship activities, and would argue that I burned more calories than anyone else on this cruise (I was probably near the top on calories consumed as well) ;) Even so, I never set foot in the gym, as there was so much else to do, and I ran several times on the ship and in port. I also didn't have time to hit the casino, which is something I usually reserve for when I'm bored. I loved the FlowRider and water slides. Kudos to the sports staff, who really did an excellent job in all events. I especially love dodgeball, and Taylor made it a lot of fun.
The service was fantastic throughout the ship. We had a couple small issues in our cabin the first day which were resolved quickly. Our cabin steward was not overly personable, but he did his job. Our My Time Dining waitstaff was fantastic, especially Ying from China, who always had a smile on her face. Our food generally came out quickly and hot.
Speaking of food, it was quite good throughout the ship. We didn't partake in any specialty restaurants, so we were limited to just the main dining room, Windjammer, and Café Promenade. I split breakfasts between the MDR and Windjammer, mostly ate lunch in the MDR when it was open, and ate all dinners in the MDR. Café Promenade was great for snacks. I will give Carnival an edge on dining, however. They have both more free restaurants and the menus offer more options as well. For example, Carnival will have about eight appetizers on each MDR menu, most of which differ every night. RCL would only have about six, three of which were always the same. I wouldn't say I'm a finicky eater, but there are things I don't like. Sometimes I'd struggle a bit to find enough variety on the menu. I would usually get two appetizers, entrees, and desserts, but sometimes would get an extra entrée and no appetizers when the menu didn't allow for my 2/2/2 plan ;) I never left any meal hungry. I'd also say that the lunch salad has to be one of my favorite salads anywhere. There are so many options to choose from, and the chefs chop it for you and blend in the dressing. They had good buffet options in the MDR at both breakfast and lunch. If you like French Toast, hit the MDR and either get it from the buffet or order it off the menu. Either way, it is a thick piece as opposed to the Windjammer standard slice.
While not as extensive as an Oasis class ship, we had pretty good entertainment. The RCL singers/dancers did two shows, there were comedians on two nights, Mo5aic (a fantastic acapella group), a Whitney Houston tribute show, a hypnotist, and I believe one night did not have a formal show because we were in San Juan late. All shows were entertaining in different ways. We also saw one ice skating show, which was equally great. Speaking of ice skating, we had a large Elvis group on our cruise, and they had most of their events in Studio B (the ice skating rink). As a result, we had less opportunity to skate. I was able to make it out after dinner on the last night.
We did not do any formal excursions, but enjoyed walking around in each port (Labadee, San Juan, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten). I ran the Wandelroute to Guana Bay while in St. Maarten. If you have a sense of adventure and are physically fit, this was a great and hilly run of about 6.4 miles. Search for the thread on the cruisecritic boards that talks about how to find it.
Disembarkation was sad (as always), but efficient. I had booked an earlier flight than I normally have (10:15ish), but we still had plenty of time to eat breakfast and carried our own luggage off towards the end of the self-assist period (I think around 7:30). We walked right off the ship and to the curb in just a few minutes. All in all another great cruise - thank you RCL! Read Less