Sail Date: February 2013
We couldn't have asked for a more perfect vacation for our family.First of all, we got to escape winter in Chicagoland for almost 9 days. We loved leaving from the port of San Juan. The weather was in the mid eighties when we arrived ... Read More
We couldn't have asked for a more perfect vacation for our family.First of all, we got to escape winter in Chicagoland for almost 9 days. We loved leaving from the port of San Juan. The weather was in the mid eighties when we arrived on the Saturday before the cruise. The airport was easy to navigate. We hopped a cab to the Caribe Hilton that I booked through Hotwire. BTW: even though I booked it on Hotwire, I contacted them ahead of time with my Hilton Honors info and they had no problem giving me Gold status privileges despite not booking direct. The Caribe has a nice pool and ocean view. Food was expensive, as I knew it would be, but the service was very good. We had to wait for our room for over almost 2 hours, but they gave us an ocean view, drink coupons, etc. to compensate. We left for the port around noon.There was a ten minute or so wait to check our bags and enter the port. No big deal. Once inside I purchased my 2 bottles of wine. The prices and selection at the port are fine (average $10.) There was no wait to check in in the C&A Gold line. We got right on the boat and headed to the cafe on the promenade for a sandwich/pizza. My dd and dh had the soda package on their sea pass so they ordered their sodas right away. At 2 we were allowed into our cabin - 9320 - a D1 on the ninth floor by the aft elevators. We loved our room location. It was so convenient to the Windjammer and pool deck. We used the stairs, mostly. If we needed something we just quickly ran back to our room. The cabin was clean and in nice condition. The deck/deck furniture had some wear and tear but was clean. The TV was the old kind, but the picture was fine. Not a problem. The beds were comfortable. Our attendant, Mr. Carter, was great. He didn't have much personality so I wasn't won over at first, but he did a great job taking care of us. He kept our ice bucket filled and got us an opener. He made towel animals that delighted my daughter. Our room was kept very clean and he was very unobtrusive. When the battery in our door lock died he got it fixed for us very quickly. Our waiters, Kennedy and Prakesh, were very good. We did My Time Dining which worked perfect for us. We at 6, 6:30 or 7 and never had any wait to sit down. We also ate at Portofino and did the Windjammer 2X for dinner. Loved the Indian food in the Windjammer. Our daughter loved Johnny Rockets. Twice she wanted dinner there so she could chill out in the room while we went to dinner. We thought the restaurants were very good, but not great. Some things were very delicious, some not so much. Overall we were very satisfied. We never did room service. We were just so close to a food venue, it seemed silly. The Ship: We loved the size of the ship. We have been on Liberty, but we preferred Adventure. It seemed less crowded to us, although we sailed Liberty on Thanksgiving so that could explain it. We loved the mix of the passengers. I would guess that the majority were Americans/Canadians with a good international mix including Europeans. There were guests from Puerto Rico (duh!) and South America. Sometimes you'd run into people because they'd we walking on the opposite side than you, but we had no issues with other's behavior. (The inability of non-runners to use the running track seems to be a cultural universal!) Almost everyone I encountered was super polite. Entertainment: We found the dancers and singers good, but not great. We only saw a couple of shows. Quest and Love & Marriage were fun. The ice show was great. We ice skated couple times and we kept running into the professional skaters who were super nice to my daughter. We roller bladed up top which was a first for us. We were never bored. Spa & Fitness: Spa was nice. Personnel varied. Some were nice; some had the hard sell & attitude. I had a great massage. I took 3 spin classes. Each class cost about $12 or so. It was worth it. By the way, don't be discouraged by the full sign up sheet. Many people didn't show up (signing up is free) and there were always bikes left. I was going to try the boot camp class, but when I saw the cost ($69) figured I could skip it. Apparently everyone else did, too. I think I saw one person signed up. Go figure. I ran on the upper track one morning (and walked another) and it was great to check out the new port. The track is easy to use and 5x equals one mile. Much nicer than being stuck in a gym. Disembark: Our time was 8:00am, but we ate breakfast in the Windjammer at 8:30 (open until 9) and didn't get off until 10:00. We've never stayed so late before and I swear they used a human dog whistle to scare us off! There was some sort of annoying noise at 10. There was no line as we got off, but there was a line at customs. This line moved quickly, though. We caught a cab to Barrachina's restaurant and stored out luggage. After some shopping in Old San Juan, we at lunch at Barrachinas - the pina coladas are awesome - we got a cab to the airport. We left 2.5 hours before our flight but was held up an extra 50 minutes by a protest on the highway outside the airport. We made our flight, but not with a moment to spare. Conclusion: We would take this cruise again in a heartbeat. I think my daughter has post-cruise depression. ; ) We might take the other route next year. I would like to try other ships and ports, just because I like new experiences, but I can't recommend Adventure enough. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2013
Just returned from 7 nights on Adventure of the Seas. We left from San Juan on Sunday 2/24. We arrived at the Port around 11:00 and with absolutely no problem at all were on the ship in about 30 minutes. Royal has streamlined everything ... Read More
Just returned from 7 nights on Adventure of the Seas. We left from San Juan on Sunday 2/24. We arrived at the Port around 11:00 and with absolutely no problem at all were on the ship in about 30 minutes. Royal has streamlined everything and it couldn't be easier. Everyone was happy and helpful and welcoming. We have been on Adventure before and we were a little concerned because some of the reviews have been negative. Let me just say, this ship is still absolutely beautiful, clean and awesome. We could not check in until 2 so we went and had lunch at the Windjammer. Plenty of room there, plenty of selection, all fresh and nicely presented. Wonderful servers and excellent service. After lunch we walked around and checked out the ship which looks beautiful. We played a little mini golf and the golf course looks brand new. Finally time to check in to or state room. First time with a Jr. Suite. From now on, that is the room we will get! Loved the room, nice large deck, spacious room and so much storage! Walk in closet, and a bath tub! Such an awesome room! Met Karen our room steward almost immediately. She was lovely, and just did an excellent job. Luggage arrived shortly after we checked in and vacation began. The entertainment on this ship was excellent. They had comedy, variety, skating, everything was great. We chose to dine in the 2nd seating. I think we may change that next time, it just seemed to really run late and we actually only went to the dining room 3x. We ate at Portofino twice...OMG still dreaming about the Risotto! and we ate at Windjammer 2x when we just wanted to eat and have time to do everything planned for the evening. I don't think we even did 75% of the activities we could have done. Such an amazing selection of things to do. We were never bored in the evenings and some nights we found ourselves running from end to end of the ship to try to do everything! We absolutely loved each and every port of call. It didn't hurt that the weather was amazing the entire week! Our favorites were St Lucia, Antigua and Barbados. I highly recommend the Catamaran tour in Antigua. I have never seen water that color! We also really enjoyed the Jeep and Cave tour in Barbados and the Segway tour in St Lucia. I was particularly impressed with how friendly everyone was. The tours were professional and the tour guides were fun and friendly. We spent the last two vacations in Jamaica and they are not nearly as friendly or welcoming as the people in these islands were. We were also completely impressed with service all over the ship. Everyone was so nice and just really bent over backward to make sure we were happy. The service was OUTSTANDING! I am amazed that anyone could give this trip anything less then 5 stars! The ship is beautiful, the food is plentiful and there is enough variety for any taste, the service is amazing, the entertainment is great and again something for everyone. We are already planning our next cruise on Royal...we want to do this one again and may just book the same trip next year before Adventure goes in for updates! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2013
Our party of four arrived in San Juan on 2/08/2013 for a 2/10/2013 sailing on AOS. We spent two nights at the Caribe Hilton which is overrated and overpriced. We arrived at the dock at 12:15 and found the embarkation lines a little long, ... Read More
Our party of four arrived in San Juan on 2/08/2013 for a 2/10/2013 sailing on AOS. We spent two nights at the Caribe Hilton which is overrated and overpriced. We arrived at the dock at 12:15 and found the embarkation lines a little long, but not too bad. To our delight and amazement, we were sitting on the ship having a cocktail at 12:50. We were in our cabin promptly at 2:00 and had all our luggage by 2:30. Outstanding efficiency! This was the first time that we had sailed on a larger class ship, and we were a little leery of the larger size and crowds. However, by day two, we were loving it. Sometimes the Promenade felt a little crowded, but that is really to be expected, and you can always find a less crowded spot on this ship. There is a wide variety of bars, cafes and activities. The itinerary for this cruise including, St. Croix, St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia and Barbados. We did not take any excursions, and mostly just enjoyed the beaches, and they were all wonderful. There cannot be enough said about the staff on AOS. From the minute we walked onto the ship until the minute we walked off, we were treated with impeccable customer service. Everybody had a smile on their face and treated us as if we were their long lost friends. We ate at the 8:30PM seating in the main dining room (table #484). Our wait staff, Ethel and Marie were not only efficient, but were delightful. We have been on 6 previous cruises on four different cruise lines. This was definitely the most enjoyable, and just what we needed. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2013
We left in a blizzard and Royal Caribbean kept the sun shining for the whole week. Yes, the ship is in need of some updating but the staff kept us so happy that you soon forgot about that. We booked an interior stateroom( never did ... Read More
We left in a blizzard and Royal Caribbean kept the sun shining for the whole week. Yes, the ship is in need of some updating but the staff kept us so happy that you soon forgot about that. We booked an interior stateroom( never did this before and I was VERY apprehensive about how tight the quarters were going to be) it was surprisingly well appointed. My husband is 6'2" and my son loved the bunk bed. The travel agent helped us find the best available stateroom and she was spot on. When we needed the elevators it never felt like we waited too long. We were perfectly positioned for the Adventure Ocean Club( more on that later)and all other areas we frequented. The food is not why you book Royal Caribbean it was fine and healthy options were available. Our son has food allergies and he was able to eat something different at each meal.The ship takes food allergies/healthy eating seriously its up to the passenger to choose. Adventure Ocean Staff ( Frankenstein, Apple, Bannana,Pineapple and many others)were FANTASTIC. We could not have engaged our son as well as these wonderful people did. They had a full house on most days and I knew they were staffed with adult to child ratio so everyone was secure. Dancing, art projects, science, Carnival and a water slide gave our son his own vacation. Royal Caribbean has hired wonderful people in the Adventure Ocean they deserve the highest grades possible on their reviews. Fabio the Excursion Manager rectified a situation with professionalism that deserves noting. An excursion that was noted in the brochure as a family friendly excursion was not and should have had an age restriction or some mention from the excursion agent. We brought this to his attention and made the necessary changes to have it removed from the family friendly options so others would not be disappointed. It was an expensive excursion that he resolved for us without any inconvience. Loward Baker & Camilla were wonderful Waiter/asst. Our My Time dining was a joy because of the tone they set at our table. Cleon at Guest Relations tried to help resolve a booking discrepancy with patience- Able in Corporate was able to resolve it completely. Cleon never dismissed me despite not being able to resolve he was a kind and pleasant attendant that is a model for Guest Relations. Our stateroom attendant June made our little tiny room feel spacious every night. He worked diligently on the 7th floor and always had a smile on his face. His tireless efforts were very appreciated. The Wadadli Catamaran in Antigua was a magical day on Paradise Reef. The Crew as really spectacular and the vessel was pristine. Book this! We did not use the excursion desk for Barbados b/c the excursion we wanted was not available. We went to the visitors center and booked a local Catamaran with 'Why Not/Wasn't Me" Captain Ron was really wonderful and Barbados is an island we will return to because of his ability to share what he loved about the island. His family has been there for 400 years. The Spa was nice nothing spectacular hopefully in the update/renovation in 2014 this area will be improved. Despite a full ship it NEVER felt like we were traveling w/too many people. The ship had enough areas for quiet or company and entertainment. Boarding process went smoothly and we did not have to wait for too long upon arrival to check in. Disembarking was painless and after 7 days at sea the last thing you want to do is wait on long lines with a 6yr old. It was a well oiled machine and safety was apparent. Thank you Royal Caribbean for restoring my faith in a family cruise vacation. It is more fun at sea! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2013
If your fellow cruisers suggest doing back-to-back seven-night cruises, book it (or them) ASAP. We just got back from consecutive cruises on the Adventure of the Seas and it was a great experience. We sailed out of San Juan on Super Bowl ... Read More
If your fellow cruisers suggest doing back-to-back seven-night cruises, book it (or them) ASAP. We just got back from consecutive cruises on the Adventure of the Seas and it was a great experience. We sailed out of San Juan on Super Bowl Sunday and, for the first time in my experience, Royal Caribbean (RCI) put on a great party. It was held in Studio B (the ice rink). 'Burgers, hot dogs, chips, etc. A large screen at one end of the venue and lots of big screen TVs all around. Week number one included such islands as Aruba, Curacao, and St. Thomas. For the most part our group of 12-16 grabbed a cab and went to the beach, all except in the port town of Willemstad in Curacao. That's the prettiest town I've seen in the Caribbean, by a wide margin. We just hung out, drank a bit, shopped a bit - loved it. As for cabs, many of the Caribbean islands are getting very organized with taxis. Generally there are dispatchers who get you into the right cab, and prices are fixed. I spoke to a couple who were rocked for a $40 cab fare. Talk to the dispatcher first; let them talk to the cabbies. Be generous though, and tip. Week two was the Southern Caribbean including St. Croix, St. Maarten, St. Lucia, and Barbados. Did some beaches, but also three ship-based excursions - a bus ride to a beach in St. Croix and two trips on a catamaran. If you do a catamaran excursion, be prepared to party. In between the cruises we came back to San Juan, spending Saturday at sea and most of Sunday in port. For a few hours, we and the other 155 consecutive cruisers had the ship to ourselves, and RCI put on a special lunch for us at noon. Nice touch. In general food on the Adventure was better than recent RCI cruises we've done. Standouts included lasagna, chicken cordon bleu, and very good crab cakes. Try the Crab Cakes Benedict in the dining room at breakfast when they're available. Most of us did the made-to-order eggs in the Windjammer at breakfast, and we complained about the ordering system. Rather than line up and tell the chef what you wanted, you gave your order to an assistant who spoke to the chef while you stood around, getting in the way. By week two, RCI had gone back to the old method, which we were used to. Not only was it a smoother operation, but it illustrated RCI's aim to please. They heard our complaints (as well as from others, I expect) and responded. Over and over, RCI's staff demonstrated their cruise line's commitment to quality service and attention to customer input. As for the ship itself, it is simply a luxury hotel, sailing through the ocean. The forward section features an ornate three-deck staircase, from which you can look up to the eight decks above you. Take some time and drink in the sight. The Promenade - a group of shops, bars, and restaurants - runs the length of deck five. It's a lively, attractive place to meet your friends, make new acquaintances, or watch the people go by. Was everything perfect? Of course not, not on a ship of this size. But, for whatever reason, I have never felt more comfortable on a cruise ship. As for the staff, they went out of their way to provide service, and did so in a friendly, personal way. I understand the Adventure is going into dry dock soon for refurbishment and some upgrades. When it hits the water again, be ready to book it, and think about a back-to-back. You will love it. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
I am an avid cruiser and booked this trip for our honeymoon. I read all of the positive and not-so-positive reviews ahead of time, so wasn't sure what to expect. Overall, we had an amazing time and will definitely sail RCCL again. ... Read More
I am an avid cruiser and booked this trip for our honeymoon. I read all of the positive and not-so-positive reviews ahead of time, so wasn't sure what to expect. Overall, we had an amazing time and will definitely sail RCCL again. However, I have some suggestions that I'd love to share with RCCL. First, the ship was lovely, embarkation was smooth. This was the highest class RCCL ship we've been on and we loved the look of the promenade and the library/internet cafe areas that enable one to watch what's happening without being in the thick of things. The balcony was wonderful, and I'm now spoiled! We booked several excursions -- including the Ferry to St. John's, Snorkeling in Aruba, the Rain Forest Hike in Puerto Rico. Our walking tour of Curacao was cancelled due to rain, so we walked it anyway once the rain has passed. We also booked the Murder Mystery Dinner in Portofino prior to setting sail, and it was loads of fun. In St. Kitts, we opted to take a public ferry to Nevis and enjoyed the 2.5 hours we spent there before heading back. I've posted several destination reviews on Trip Advisor. Further, we each booked a spa massage, which was great -- never got to the fitness center. With regard to dining, we had a great experience. This was my first cruise needing gluten-free food, and I was needlessly concerned. When I checked in at the dining room after embarkation, they already had my information and I was treated like royalty all week. George was our head waiter and always made sure I was happy. I hate feeling "high maintenance" in restaurants back home, and not once did I feel uncomfortable. Santoso and Richard were our assistants and by the end of the week, felt like family. I have two feedback items that I'm hoping will be addressed somehow. This may be a result of the transition of cruise directors, but I doubt it. First, we never found "our spot" on the ship, which was a first for me. In all my cruising, I've always found my favorite bar, dance spot, nook to relax in, and so on... and never found it on this ship. I think it's because they multi-task their areas so much to squeeze in as many activities as possible. There was always something going on, just about everywhere. For example, we love to dance. The first night, we popped into Jester's and the crowd was a bunch of young folks and club-style music... not our thing. A couple of nights later, Jesters was 70's night and there were about 8 of us dancing. The next night, it was empty. Not sure where all the young folks went, but we never found "our dance spot". I would have preferred that they had one spot for old folks, one for middle-aged dancers and one for the young ones so we could've enjoyed the space, other guests our age, and the staff. The other dynamic is that the promenade was often uncomfortably crowded, again, in my opinion, because they tried to squeeze too many activities into one space. For example, the music from the salsa band bled into the piano bar guy which made that very unsatisfying. At the same time, when the evening shows ended, the musicians up one level were often on a break, so we weren't drawn to a particular spot to hang out and instead just wandered around. There were supposedly 31 teen girls celebrating their Quinceanera throughout the week, which also added to the crowds on that same deck. Perhaps if they'd been invited to use a separate lounge, their families and friends could have enjoyed the celebration a bit more. In a similar way, we stopped by the Ben and Jerry's counter a few times during the week for ice cream, but all of the tables on the promenade were filled with people waiting for the next activity to begin, so we couldn't linger over our ice cream. The English pub had interesting performers, but again you could barely hear the guy over music and conversation happening right outside the entrance. Many of the criticisms have previously been about too many locals on the ship -- and we had no issues with that at all. I think it really comes down to the fact that the entertainment seems to try to be all things to all people... all the time... which ultimately created some chaos throughout the promenade area. If RCCL can stagger their musicians better and cut back a little bit on how they cram many activities into that particular area, it would have been even better. I still highly recommend the Adventure of the Seas for its beauty and destinations. Perhaps the new cruise director will have the ability to make some adjustments to spread things out a bit. Happy sailing! I can't wait for the next one... Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
Sail Date: Jan. 27, 2013 Ship: Adventure of the Seas Cabin: Junior Suite - 9318 Dining: 6:00 PM - Table 329 Itinerary: San Juan, St. Croix, St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, San Juan It was a chilly 27F when we left North ... Read More
Sail Date: Jan. 27, 2013 Ship: Adventure of the Seas Cabin: Junior Suite - 9318 Dining: 6:00 PM - Table 329 Itinerary: San Juan, St. Croix, St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, San Juan It was a chilly 27F when we left North Carolina, so the 88F in San Juan felt wonderful! We flew in two days prior to the cruise so we could take a full day to tour Old San Juan. We stayed at the Old San Juan Sheraton Hotel and Casino. The hotel was great and offered some amazing views. San Juan The day after we arrived, we got up early and ate breakfast at the Sheraton Buffet. The food was excellent but the cost was $20 per person. After recovering from sticker shock we then hopped on the free trolley and toured the entire Old San Juan district. I highly recommend doing this if you have the time. We toured both forts ($5 entrance fee includes both forts) and they were in excellent condition. There were also some other very interesting historical sites along the way. If you're interested in history, this is a must do. That night we ate at Barrachina's Restaurant and saw the Flaminco Show. The food was okay but the show was excellent! It was based on traditional Puerto Rican music and dance. Embarkation We left the hotel at 10:20am and got to the dock at 10:35. It was surprisingly not crowded. However, there were no porters at the taxi drop off point. We did the bag drag for about 100 feet before someone asked if we needed help. Once our luggage was taken, we immediately entered the check-in area and there were no lines at all. Check-in took all of 3 minutes and we were promptly led to the priority boarding section and seated by 10:45. The boarding gates opened up at 11:45 and we were on the ship before noon. Word of caution: I talked with a couple of people who arrived at the terminal at 2:30pm and they said it was a nightmare ... very long lines for porters and check-in. The Ship I was pretty confused about some comments I had read in reviews and posts on Cruise Critic about how worn out Adventure was. Folks, I didn't notice any wear and tear. The ship was in very good shape. Our stateroom and all the public areas were clean and immaculate. She's a beautiful ship! BTW ... there's brand new balcony furniture in JS's and above. They didn't have the new loungers yet but our cabin attendant provided one of the old one's ... like they use at the pools. The Main Dining Room was absolutely spectacular! Our table (329) was right next to the Captains table. A perfect location. Our waiters were always on top of everything and remembered our preferences every night. Kudo's to Burton and Elroy! They both got "WOW Cards". St. Croix Though the name sounds exotic, it was the most run down port I've ever been to. Some others we talked to said the snorkeling at Buck Island was good, but it appeared that the highlight of this port was the 'beer drinking pigs'. We made a beach day out it. We got two lounge chairs and an umbrella for $10 at the beach just to the left of the dock (the name of the beach escapes me). St. Maarten A beautiful island! We took a private tour from "Bernard's Tours". Our driver / tour guides name was Timo. He was very knowledgeable and did an outstanding job. The highlight was going to Maho Beach where I had the opportunity to take a video of a 747 coming in for a landing. (You have to see this video. Link posted at end of review.) I highly recommend Bernard's Tours!!! Antigua Another beautiful island! We did the RCI sponsored 'Ocean Racing Experience". Geez ... was it ever an experience! I had no idea that WE would be the ones rigging the masts and doing re-riggings after re-riggings. I am thoroughly convinced that I will never own a sail boat. It was fun though. St. Lucia This was the best of them all due in no small part to "Cosul Tours". We were fortunate to get Francis Cosul as our guide. We had food at every stop and plenty of drinks in our tour van. The entire tour was outstanding with the highlight being the Pitons. Barbados The only hiccup of the cruise was here. We booked "The Cave Experience" through 'Facilitators Unlimited'. They took our deposit 6 months ago but didn't put us on their list. We waited at appointed place and they never showed up. We found a very nice lady who called them for us and while I was talking to Wayne (owner) he immediately blamed his wife. All I did was sigh. After an hour, he called someone else to take us but because he messed up, it ruined the schedule and the entire tour was modified. We did't get to half the places that we were supposed to go. We did make it to "Harrisons Caves" which were great! Do not book with "Facilitators Unlimited" ... very unprofessional group. The tour guide we ended up with, "CJ's Tours", did the best he could. Debarkation Again, contrary to the nightmares that I've read about, our debarkation process was very smooth. We were called for debark and left the deck 5 MDR at 10:15am. We went to baggage claim and found our luggage, hired a porter, waited for customs for about 20 minutes and grabbed a taxi to the airport. Once at the airport, there were no lines anywhere except for a short one at security. The longest line we had was for customs at the cruise terminal. We were at our gate at 11:30am. The San Juan airport was a breeze! Our Cruise Critic Roll Call and Meet & Mingle This was the most active roll calls that I've ever been a part of! Over 4300 posts leading up to the cruise! It was good chatting and exchanging information. We had 104 people sign-up for the M&M. We had a pre-M&M on boarding day at 3pm at the Sky Bar. It was great to finally meet everyone. The RCI sponsored M&M was hosted by Jerome (activities manager). He did a great job. They had food and drinks prepared and held a good raffle. The big prize was a bottle of wine. RCI, in typical fashion, exceeded all expectations! It was a great cruise! Link to photos (see sub folders) ... http://s218.beta.photobucket.com/user/GaryMelillo/library/Cruise%202013%20-%20AOS Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
I had read so many reviews about the embarkation process that I was a little worried about getting on board and was really surprised that we were on board and in our stateroom in less than 20 minutes. The announced on board time was ... Read More
I had read so many reviews about the embarkation process that I was a little worried about getting on board and was really surprised that we were on board and in our stateroom in less than 20 minutes. The announced on board time was listed as 2PM and we arrived by about 10 after dropped our luggage went through the check-in line in about 10 minutes waited a short time for the on board picture taking and immediately on board could not have been easier. Had lunch in the Windjammer nice variety and not crowded at all in fact I commented to my wife that I wondered where everybody was. Obviously each boarding is going to be different but our experience could not have been better. There has also been a lot of talk about the condition of the public areas and yes I would agree that there were some spots that could use a little paint and there were some stains on the carpets but I would warrant that two weeks after Adventure of the Seas comes out of the planned refit that there will be stains on the carpets and there will be a few places that have some chipped paint. I was really expecting the ship to be in very bad shape but I did not find anything that either dirty or not in working order. Our stateroom was clean and with some exceptions for some small paint chips was in good shape. Maybe I'm just not picky enough. Ports--Our itinerary included stops in St. Croix, St. Marteen, Antigua, St. Lucia and finally Barbados. The stop in St. Croix is very nearly worthless many years ago we had visited St Thomas and really liked it but St. Croix does not have the infrastructure to support tourism and after visiting with a couple of shop owners does not seem inclined to want to develop the trade. The few shops were fronted by sidewalks and streets in great need of repair. I would not bother to go back. St. Maarten was the reason we chose this trip and we thoroughly enjoyed our time there. I recommend the Butterfly farm, Sunset beach where the planes land and the shopping is about the best. Antigua great for history buffs I enjoyed the restored buildings at Nelson's boat yard beaches are very good and the shopping is ok. St Lucia was probably my favorite try the Cosol tour you can book it on line or just walk off the ship and look for the guys carrying the Colsol signs they offer a complete tour of the island featuring a trip to a volcano, the beach and a boat tour of the Pitons which are spectacular plus a bunch of other stops and all the beer rum punch water and sodas you can drink. Barbados not my favorite but a lot of people really like this island I was not impressed. Food pretty standard cruise fare with very good service and we did not find the windjammer to be over crowded. Breakfast in the main dining room was very good a little less variety than in the windjammer but enough to fill most expectations. We had a free meal at Porto Fino that we took advantage of it was nice and the food was very good but i would not pay for the privilege to eat there again. Activities and Shows there was plenty of things to keep busy at on board but with only one sea day not a lot of time to take advantage of them. The shows were ok but not spectacular with the exception of the Ice Show which was about as good as we have seen after two trips on the Navigator of the Seas and another on the Mariner of the Seas. The Cruise Director was approachable and personable and were all of his staff. Finally The debarkation which I had also read a number of horror stories about could not have been much easier. Our departure time was delayed 30 minutes but in a comfortable situation with coffee and pastries available. Once our group was called at 9:45 we were off the ship and in the airport in less than an hour. I would recommend this trip for anyone who has a desire to see the Southern Caribbean. The Adventure of The Seas is a good ship however RCI learned a lot about how to improve the basic design and the later ships in this class are a cut above The Adventure. Looking forward to our next cruise this summer on board liberty of the Seas out of Barcelona Spain. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
Arrived in San Juan the early evening before the cruise. Quickly got our luggage and took a taxi to the Hampton Inn. Very friendly staff, nice clean rooms and a nice breakfast. It was getting late when we arrived so we had a hamburger ... Read More
Arrived in San Juan the early evening before the cruise. Quickly got our luggage and took a taxi to the Hampton Inn. Very friendly staff, nice clean rooms and a nice breakfast. It was getting late when we arrived so we had a hamburger at the pool grill. Very pretty area with friendly staff and the best burger that I've ever had. The next morning we walked across the street to Walgreens so that my friend could buy 2 bottles of wine. She said that the prices were very reasonable, comparable to what she pays @ home. There is a small store @ the RCC terminal but she said that they were much more expensive than Walgreens. On Sunday after breakfast we took a taxi to the port @ 10:30 am. Check in was a breeze. We were sent to a priority boarding area and had fun chatting with some other folks. We were on by I think 11:40 and headed to the Windjammer. I immediately heard the words "Roll Call" and introduced myself to some Very nice CC members. Windjammer was fine, with great service. Off to the cabin @ 1pm. I was a bit concerned after booking 3612 because it was so low on the ship. It turned out to be a win. It was on a secluded corridor with about only 18 other cabins. It was right outside the breakfast dining room and near many of the activities. It was very quiet. The cabin had a very large window. Small but nicely laid out and decorated. Our cabin steward was very nice and kept our room clean. We mostly had breakfast in dining room which was just fine. They had the usual selections and a large help yourself area of cereals, granola, dried and fresh fruits and more. They were only open for lunch on the day at sea. We had the famous Tutti Salad which was very good.I had made the My Time Dining reservations on line prior to the trip. After the first night I was able to arrange with the very helpful woman who is stationed in front of the dining room to have the same table each evening. Top notch waiter Rigor and his assistant "O" (sorry, I forgot his name). Food for the most part was very good. Wasn't wild over the prime rib. The standouts for me were the minestrone soup, short rib ragout and the lamb dishes. I heard that the lobster was very good. You could always get a snack in the Promenade Cafe and there was usually something going on in the Windjammer, and there is always room service. Roomservice breakfast menu is in your cabin and the more extensive menu is on the TV. We had a fun informal meet and greet before the Muster Drill and a RCC hosted event on Monday. There were lots of prizes and food for everyone. It was definitely the best CC event that I've attended. Thank you Gerome and RCC. Anthony Richards was a very enjoyable Cruise director. He is very quick on his feet and very funny. He is my favorite CD in all of my 9 cruises. I've seen the many "Marriage Games" and "Quests". TheseWere the best thanks to Anthony. The Ice show is NOT to be missed. The other shows were ok. I found this ship to be pretty, clean and well maintained. The crew was fantastic. I kept on reading about all of the rude people onboard...I never experienced this. There were many folks from everywhere,: USA, Europe, Puerto Rico, India and on and on. Wonderful, polite and fun! I will do a brief summary of the ports later. I did want to mention that I did book a post cruise excursion which ultimately brought us to the airport. Our delightful and funny guide was very knowledgeable. He took us to one of the beautiful government buildings, the famous fort and many other sites. We stopped for lunch at a very nice spot which turned out to be right down the street from the Hampton Inn. Great cruise and great CC Roll call friends. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
We realize a cruise line, it's ship and staff can't always be everything to everybody and sometimes things happen that may seem negative because we sometimes set our expectations so high. Having cruised RCI before we already had ... Read More
We realize a cruise line, it's ship and staff can't always be everything to everybody and sometimes things happen that may seem negative because we sometimes set our expectations so high. Having cruised RCI before we already had our level set and this is our review of our cruise. Ship - Adventure Of The Seas - We first spotted this ship two years ago when we were in St Lucia on our first RCI Caribbean cruise on Serenade Of The Seas. Looked good so we booked it this time around. The ship was very clean but did show some wear and tear from it's years of service. A bit of worn carpet and some other wear rash around the high use areas but certainly nothing that would stop us from cruising tomorrow! We understand it's going in for a refit soon. Shore Experience - Our check in and check out went very smooth and we arrived early to enjoy the ship's amenities. Our bags were in the stateroom by 5pm. They did misplace one bag when we got off but managed to find it after a search. Tagged #23 in with the #33 bags... I can see it happening with 5000 pieces to process :-) Staff - Our staff were excellent and assisted us when we ran into some technical difficulties and billing issues. All were solved quickly and to every ones satisfaction. Cabin Attendant - Maria was great and always made us feel right at home. She helped us with some extra requests (wine glasses, documentation etc) and was always just a call away. Entertainment & Social Activities - The Cruise Compass was always full of activities for everyone. The hardest part was having to choose between events occurring at the same time! We selected the various events and shows based on our personal likes and always enjoyed each one. Some more than others but then it's a wide audience they have to target. Dinning Staff - Always had great service even though we changed servers during the second week. Dinning Room - Our dining experience was very good. The choice and quality of the menu was excellent and we enjoyed the entire range of appetizers, dinners and deserts. The requests for an extra "this or that" item was always granted! The only complaint I have is relatively small but I will mention it here because.. well not everything is perfect... right?! I had ordered a Rum Drink at dinner and was asked if I wanted a "double"? Sure I said... and when the bill arrived it was for two separate rum drinks and of course two tips etc.. Now a bottle of rum costs about 3 bucks down here so to be charged for two drinks instead of a premium for the second shot seemed a bit of a gouge to me. Good for RCI but bad for the customer. Will I cruise with RCI again, Absolutely! Will I go on Adventure again? Absolutely! Will I order a Rum drink? Absolutely! Will I make it a "double"? Probably not :-) Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
This was our 3rd time on this ship. The ship is still in pretty good shape. Like most, there are some wear and tear areas of the ship but nothing major at all. The crew and staff were all very good to us. The ports of call were all great. ... Read More
This was our 3rd time on this ship. The ship is still in pretty good shape. Like most, there are some wear and tear areas of the ship but nothing major at all. The crew and staff were all very good to us. The ports of call were all great. A few things to watch out for. Our waiter did not get credit for prepaid tips from everyone at our table. He said this has been an issue they have seen on board. Be sure to check with your wait staff and your housekeeper to be sure they are getting credit on prepaid tips on the last day. We also got some nasty bug bites in the lyric theater on Monday on the right side upper floor level. The same thing happened at disembarkment in the imperial lounge right center. Informed rccl about these and all they did was say they will let the ship know about this. Other than that, we had a blast. The prom staterooms are great. Rooms were in pretty good shape except the beds. They had a 2-4 inch sag in the center of them and were not very comfortable. The room stewart did put several matress toppers on for us which slightly helped. Food was good. Since everyone has different tastes I will no go into grave detail on the food. One discovery that we had involved "rum punch" on the islands. We were told that the islands use a much stronger proof rum (2 to 3 times as strong than most are used to). Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
This was our very first cruise experience and it was more than I could have ever hoped for. From beginning to end we had the time of our lives. I have read so many reviews and have appreciated the information found on this site as well ... Read More
This was our very first cruise experience and it was more than I could have ever hoped for. From beginning to end we had the time of our lives. I have read so many reviews and have appreciated the information found on this site as well as advice on ports of call specifically, however finding a positive review is almost unheard of! I would like to to submit my experience so that others embarking on their first cruise experience can see that there is so much to look forward to. For me three things are very important - 1) service, 2) food and 3) having fun. We flew from Toronto, Canada to San Juan on Jan. 19th. The airport was easy to maneuver and the taxi queue was well organized. On this trip I found the research on the various taxi customs in each port was very helpful. We stayed at the Hampton Inn, Isla Verde. The hotel was in close proximity to the airport and the port. There was a nice swimming pool with a bar and our room was lovely and huge with and amazing bed! The staff here were fantastic - so very helpful. They were excited to share the puerto rican culture and gave great advice for an authentic dinner as well as how to travel to the sites. I would recommend this hotel for service, room and price. Embarkation - we came to the port right around 2:00 (sail away was at 10:00 p.m.). There was a very long line, and it was HOT, so I was a bit worried, but everything was very well organized and we moved right along. There was water and lemonade available to keep you cool, which was nice. In total, it took 1 hour to move through the line and get to our room. Our bags were there when we arrived. On sail away - we headed up to the very front of the ship and watched San Juan fall away Titanic style - cool! Then we ran all over the ship watching from all the different vantage points. Our room - We had room 7642 which was a superior oceanview stateroom with balcony - slightly aft of mid-ship. Great location! We loved our balcony!!! The room was a very good size with lots of storage. I brought lots of clothes and shoes("costume" changes are fun!)and there was amble room to store everything. The ship's decor is from the early 2000's so yes, it is a little out of date, but not too bad. It was clean and that is very important to me. Our stateroom attendant came twice a day - our room was spotless. He even left a couple of cute towel animals. Some people on this site seem to require this to have a good time....me, not so much. But it was a nice little add on. Food - I had read so many reviews about the so so food offered and so I did not have very high expectations. As I said in the beginning, food quality and customer service are very important to me, and of anything, could possibly lead to a bad experience. No worries here! we only ate in the MDR for dinner and ate at the Windjammer each morning and afternoon. The food at dinner was always amazing (except the steak) and the service was top notch! The Windjammer had so much fresh fruit and veggies, all cut up and ready to go, making it easy to eat well all week. The food is fresh, which is nice - not a lot of deep fried stuff. I thoroughly enjoyed the two formal nights! The ship - the pool area always had ample places to lounge. I never had an issue getting a seat, and never saw any hogging chairs. In fact, that was another thing....on a ship with 4000 people I never felt crowded, and never saw anyone being rude or complaining. How refreshing! We visited a couple of bars for some events and went to "the Quest" game show - what a blast! Ports of call: Day 1 - St. Thomas - What an absolutely amazing location!! We traveled by an open air cab to Magen's Bay. There were only 2 ships in port, and the beach was anything but packed. The beach was clean and there were lots of taxis waiting so you didn't have to worry about how to get back. There is a decent snack bar and little shop there as well. We rented a couple of loungers and hung out on the beach and in the water (oh so lovely) all day! Then back to the ship. What a perfect first day. Day 2 - St. Kitts - Here we opted for a tour of the island with Grey's Tours (our guide was Vincent). The tour cost $45 each for a nearly full day tour - well worth the money and highly recommended. This was a great day to see the island. I felt safe with his driving and learned a lot about the island. We visited Romney Manor and Caribelle Batik(30 min), Brimstone Hill Fortress (60 min) and then out to Frigate bay where you can see both the Atlantic Ocean and Carribean Sea. What a view. You could get dropped off at a beach for a couple of hours, but we decided to go back to the ship for a bite to eat and hit the pool. Day 3 - Day at sea.....fun day to sleep in, hang out by the pool, watch the belly flop competition, etc. Day 4 - Aruba - oh my goodness what a beautiful place!! We were in port from 8 a.m. -10 p.m. We had a tour booked with Trikes Aruba at 1:30 and so we did not leave the ship until around 12:00. If I had known better, I would have left at 9:00 in the morning!! Anyway, we headed to Palm beach to take a look around and then over to Trikes Aruba (see my review on Trip Advisor http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g488162-d2097565-Reviews-Trikes_Aruba-Noord_Aruba.html). We had a truly fantastic day with them! After the tour, we headed to Passions on the Beach for a beach-side dinner and sunset....what a great way to end a perfect day. We headed back to the ship for a pool side party and grand buffet. There was much dancing and fun to be had and the buffet was truly spectacular. Day 5 - Curacao - we had a lot of trouble figuring out what to do here. All of the info that I could find showed beaches being very far away and cabs costing a lot of money. I was tossed up between Seaquarium (Mambo Beach) and Blue Bay since they were close. Neither had great reviews so I really wasn't sure what to do. Eventually we headed down to the tourist booth in the port and they suggested Mambo. When we got there, I had a few moments where I though we might be better to go somewhere else. But after a while of sitting under a palm tree and listening to music from the beach bar, I was persuaded to stay. we swam out to the dock and hung out there for quite some time, had a couple of beers and lounged a lot!! Not too bad for a day's work. We discovered that we were sitting next to a couple from the ship and so asked if we could share a cab back with them. We had not arranged for our cab to come back, which we should have as they are not just sitting there waiting. We headed back to Willemsted to look around the pretty town and do a bit of shopping. Then back to the ship for formal night. Day 6 - at sea...lovely, but a little more movement. The seas had been pretty calm all week and this was the first day we noticed a lot of swaying, which seemed to get a little worse in the night. We packed and got organized for the morning and then went out to have some fun on the ship. Day 7 - going home :( We were up and out of our room by 8:30, had a quick breakfast and then to Studio 8 to wait debarkation. We were off the ship by 11:30, through the line to customs and in a cab and on the way to the airport before 12:00. Smooth sailing! We had such a wonderful time. We felt the staff on board were top notch and we experienced excellent customer service at every turn. I look forward to a point in the future when we can take a run at this type of trip again. I want to end on a note to comment on many of the negative reviews involving Puerto Rican people. I would like to say that the puerto rican people added to our trip in such a huge way. From their hospitality in San Juan (everywhere we went!), to the music, energy and sense of family, I would say that I have very rarely met such fantastic people. A word of advice, sometimes the behaviors you encounter are connected to the attitude you are portraying. People of all cultures can be rude (yes, even Americans!), but in my experience, these people were anything but. Thank you to everyone we met or came in contact with on this cruise - you all contributed to a vacation that we will remember forever! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
The January 27 sailing of Adventure of the Seas stopping at St. Croix, St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia and Barbados was our seventh cruise out of San Juan and overall it was enjoyable with good officers and really great service from a hard ... Read More
The January 27 sailing of Adventure of the Seas stopping at St. Croix, St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia and Barbados was our seventh cruise out of San Juan and overall it was enjoyable with good officers and really great service from a hard working crew. We are Canadians, ages 57 and 61 and I'm writing this review from my perspective which is that of a careful planner who reads the Cruise Critic Reviews, avoids school and public holidays and has a plan B should something go amiss. I pay attention to airline schedules as well as travel and cruise industry news in general. As a result, we've always enjoyed our cruise vacations, never had lost or late luggage or suffered any travel horrors and delays. We are not in the least bit "high maintenance". All the stuff about boarding lines and disembarkation procedures, ships excursions and islands visited are covered extensively in other reviews so I'll mention only what matters to us. Dining and Food: The new RCI menu seems to have fewer items to choose from than years past though I'd still describe the food as good banquet class dining. The Windjammer lacked soup choices at lunch and a few strong curries would have been welcome, but we didn't go hungry. We ate dinner in the (My Time Dining) Mozart with a reserved table for 6 at the early seating each evening. The first thing we did after boarding the ship on Sunday afternoon was make that reservation with the Maitre d'. The fixed time early seating was already filled up when we booked this cruise in late August. My Time Dining is a bit of a misnomer as it really fills quickly for early seating at 6:00 pm and then no openings are available until the first seating is cleared away and second seating starts at 8:30 pm. So it's important to make a reservation and stick with it. Drinks are overpriced by about 30% to 40% and one pina colada in the Lyric Theatre seemed watered down and quite awful. It's also time for Royal Caribbean to ban smoking everywhere on this ship. Entertainment: The Lyric Theatre had all the usual production shows typical for a Caribbean cruise, short variety act song and dance numbers, a comedian and musical acts. There were some fun high energy theme parties around the ship which are pretty much standard fare on these cruises. We enjoyed the shows but found the evenings were missing ordinary social dancing. The Imperial Lounge has the largest dance floor but the audio sound system there appeared to be broken. We like to dance, Latin, Ballroom and American Social but the Blue Moon lounge on Deck 14 had almost no floor space while the Lobby Bar on Deck 4 had only a little more floor space but was too close to the smoke wafting out of the Casino. Jesters Nightclub had a good dance floor but seemed mostly unoccupied because it only played ear piercing disco/rock at full volume. One night with nobody else in there I asked the DJ to put some contemporary dance music on at lower volume and he said he couldn't. So we left. Another evening we came back in and again it was empty but I managed to persuade the DJ to play a Mambo and a couple of Cha Cha's but couldn't persuade him to turn down the volume. Rock music, rap beats and techno disco played at full volume is not pleasant in small lounges and certainly nobody seemed to stay and listen or order drinks. A competent Cruise Director should be on top of that sort of thing. Pedro, the guitarist, was the one exception and always superb. Metrotone along with the Adventure of the Seas Orchestra were both good but not as dance bands. The piano bar singer was painfully loud and bad. We skipped all the art auction and diamond and gemstone shopping talks. We never went into the movie screening room and not once turned the cabin television on. The ice show was not an attraction for us, as we came to the Caribbean to forget about the cold weather at home, and chose not to watch it. I'm usually good at Trivia but the questions on AOS seemed fiendishly hard and made more difficult because the presenter in the Schooner Bar spoke such poor English. As on all the other cruise ships there is too much wasted effort taking official ship photographs. Doesn't everybody have their own digital camera these days? One formal night pose is more than enough. The Ship and Cabins: The inside cabins are smaller than on any ship I can remember and there were some nasty sewer smells on Deck 2, Deck 6 and Deck 7 aft. Our toilet didn't work on two different occasions for several hours. However, the laundry service is excellent and always returned by 5:00 pm next day (5:30 p.m. for friends down the hall). So no need to bring too much luggage. Men should only need one light summer blazer or sport jacket and a tie for formal evenings. Cruises out of San Juan simply don't require tuxedos. Save some room in your suitcase for the drink-of-the-day Royal Caribbean logo glasses you get to keep. The graphic displays near the elevators that show your present location are excellent. They're easy to read and understand which is important because it's a huge ship and with such a large inside promenade and lack of outside directional cues very handy. The artwork (supposedly $15 million of it) placed around the ship was an important and necessary visual clue in helping me to find our inside cabin. Normally I never go near a spa on a cruise ship, but Adventure of the Seas has an excellent gym, hot tub and change room area which didn't smell like chlorine. The elevators though, did smell strongly of disinfectant but I completely understand the need for constant cleaning. Pre-Cruise: If you really want guaranteed good weather and sunshine in January or February for a winter cruise, then San Juan, PR is the only low cost departure point that gets you into the southern Caribbean fast without any days at sea going back and forth to a Florida departure port. San Juan has huge hotel capacity and excellent air connections from mainland US. There are always last-minute hotel and air deals available so don't book too soon in advance. Just know you must avoid booking your cruise on or near any school holidays, Christmas, New Year and the San Sebastian Festival which occurs around mid January. That includes New York school and public holidays because the Puerto Ricans who live in NY outnumber those on the island itself and those festivals and school holidays bring them back to PR in droves. We fly from Detroit, not Toronto and do our own hotel, flight and cruise bookings online. We also decline all medical and trip insurance which saves enough in costs to pay for a few days pre-cruise at a hotel/resort in Puerto Rico. We fly midweek to San Juan (SJU) to avoid the crush of same day cruise travelers at the airport and we try to avoid hotels in Old San Juan, the Convention area and along Condado Beach which can be high traffic and noisy. Instead we prefer the beach area along Isla Verde. There's the Courtyard Marriott (our favourite) at the east end of the beach next to the Ritz, an InterContinental, El San Juan; and in easy walking distance, the Verdanza, a Hampton Suites and the Embassy Suites Hotel which is also one of our favourites with breakfast and happy hour included. Since it's always a taxi ride to and from the ship no matter where you stay, it makes better sense to be near a good beach. The public bus (53 and T5) from Isla Verde to Old San Juan is just .75 cents compared to a $20 taxi ride into town along the freeway. For this trip, we booked four nights at the Embassy Suites and received El Yunque Rainforest Tour tickets (valued at $120 for the two of us) which is a tourist travel promotion currently offered in Puerto Rico. This promotion has four or five free tours including the bioluminescent caves by kayak, city bike tours, zip line experience and a catamaran trip to a remote beach. Which ever you choose the tour vans pick you up at selected hotels and bring you back about four or five hours later. Overall Summation: The ship is pleasant and the passenger mix mostly middle aged Canadians, Americans and a smattering of South Americans and Europeans. There were almost no children on board. It was a better cruise experience than Carnival Victory (4*) in 2012 but less enjoyable than Serenade of the Seas (4.5*) and Caribbean Princess (5*) and Celebrity Millennium (5*) all out of San Juan in previous years. Our first cruise out of San Juan was on Nordic Empress in 1999. Ships have different personalities and it's almost impossible to say which one is better or worse as it boils down to what sort of cruise experience you enjoy. We tend to pick any ship that goes to Barbados and are not loyal to any one cruise line by trying different ships every year, so my recommendation is take a cruise on Adventure of the Seas and judge for yourself. My opinion of the ship and the itinerary, the food and overall service is that it is good value for the cost. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
My wife and I, both in our late 40's, decided to try another cruise line after only sailing with Carnival in the past. We saw the itinerary listed for the Adventure of the Seas and love to sail out of San Juan, so this cruise was a ... Read More
My wife and I, both in our late 40's, decided to try another cruise line after only sailing with Carnival in the past. We saw the itinerary listed for the Adventure of the Seas and love to sail out of San Juan, so this cruise was a no-brainer. We cruised with so many great friends, new and old, that we met from our roll call. It had to be fate that so many like minded people all chose that cruise. It just made this cruise that much more special and we are already missing our friends. We had read on some threads that embarking was starting much later on the AOS. Luckily, we listened to our friends ( namely Gary and Michael ) and headed to the port at approximately 11am. It was a breeze to go through security and the other processes and we were onboard by noon. The cruiseship was amazing. Nothing else can describe how much we liked everything we saw. The promenade was our favourite part of the ship and nothing like we had witnessed before. The ship was in great shape and we really didn't notice any wear and tear that some others speak of. We found ourselves comparing this ship to those of Carnival that we had sailed on. We couldn't shake it as the lines are distinctly different. There were some things we liked better on RC, namely the food both in the MDR and in the Windjammer. Somethings we liked better on Carnival like the rooms and ship set up. Nothing we experienced was a deal breaker. This just goes to show that whichever cruise line you choose, becomes what you are used to. People should try other lines before condemning them based on what they hear. We would sail on this cruiseline again in a heartbeat but still like Carnival. As a matter of fact, we would try any line as long as we liked the itinerary and got to sail with our friends again. As always, we enjoyed the entire staff. From every area of service whether it be our steward or our waiters, we were treated so well. Don't you wish that some of the people you meet on the ship could work at your favourite restaurant or hotel? How much better would that make things. One thing that we did not like, ( sorry but this had to be addressed ) was Royal Caribbean's version of My Time Dining. It just didn't work. As they describe it, it is like visiting your favourite local restaurant. Just show up and you will be seated as soon as possible. Well, we showed up the first night at around 6:30pm. We were told it would be 8:45pm before we could be seated. We were then told it would be that way all week so if we wanted to, we could book 6:45pm every night and have the same table. Not really what MTD is all about. It didn't ruin our cruise but it didn't leave us with a good view of how they do things. If they get this issue solved, they could be so much better. Disembarking went very smooth as did each day we were in port. There was no major line ups at any time. The customs line up was a little long but it went very quickly. One final thing,,,if you get a chance to see the ice show, please do it. It was so good and we both said it was our favourite show of the whole week. They do an amazing job considering they are on sketchy ice out in the middle of the ocean with the sea swaying the ship. We were very impressed. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
Very beautiful ship with clean lines and classy elegance for an older ship. I will write about the usual topics but will start with the only real negative of the cruise. Apparently from Dec 15th to jan 15th or so, the island of Puerto ... Read More
Very beautiful ship with clean lines and classy elegance for an older ship. I will write about the usual topics but will start with the only real negative of the cruise. Apparently from Dec 15th to jan 15th or so, the island of Puerto Rico is on Christmas break. Our ship total passenger count was about 75% of the island residents. Normally I would have no problem with anyone on board the ship. I have been told before that PR residents are not the most polite people in regards to manners. The daily struggles with elevators are nothing new on board any ship but, this trip was horrible. We would be standing in line for an elevator for many minutes and a group would walk up from around the corner and simply barge on to the elevator and cut you off. It got to the point that i started standing in the doorway to prevent them from cutting in line. This was a daily and multiple times per day event that Had me boiling by the end of the trip!! I will NOT ever go on a cruise out of San Juan during that time period again. Embarkation- Really fast as we were there at 12 pm. There was already a line to get on, but they were very fast in this process. Only note, check your sea pass card and make sure you get yours. My wife got someone else's and had to return to counter to get corrected. Ship- Very nice ship with no major issues of any kind!! Ice rink was very cool and overall decor was nice. Promenade was neat and was right out our window of our interior cabin. Room- Interior cabin 8595 over the promenade. Very clean and comfy room. Little less room than we have been used to. Wife and I were stepping on each other many times. Nice little sitting area by the window overlooking the promenade. If you are a light sleeper, than might stay away from these rooms. The late night dance party and other late night events can be heard from room. It didn't last long and didn't bother me. Dining- Buffet was a little disappointing. Only had maybe a couple choices each time that even looked good to me. I am not a picky eater but, it has been better on other cruises. Small omelet station was not even noticed by me until the 2nd to last day. Very disappointed about that, but they were very good omelets. Main dining was pretty good with most selections being very well prepared and tasty. Avoid the steak on the daily selection of the menu. Waiter even said to avoid. It was tough and not a good cut of meat. Desserts were pretty good and had ice cream with most meals. Very good service with Romualdo and "Roxy" as our ever attentive and always smiling help staff. Always got us our little extras we liked each night. No specialty dining for us. Nothing on the menu warranted an extra charge from me. Entertainment- I actually enjoyed most of the entertainment each night and was awed at the ice show, which is a must see!! Good shows and comedians were all funny. Overall this trip was a very good experience and would definitely travel with RCL again. Avoid the days listed above and you will as well. Ports were all great and would recommend stopping at them. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
We arrived in San Juan 2 days before our cruise. We had a wonderful stay at the Marriott Stellar is it is a beautiful hotel with an amazing view! We were in room 718 and had a partial view of the ocean. The the hotel restaurant La Vista ... Read More
We arrived in San Juan 2 days before our cruise. We had a wonderful stay at the Marriott Stellar is it is a beautiful hotel with an amazing view! We were in room 718 and had a partial view of the ocean. The the hotel restaurant La Vista Grill has a delicious but pricey buffet dinner. The food was so good that we would dine there again. There is a Walgreen's on the corner across from the hotel with a mini grocery section in the back of the store where we were able to get some snacks, water & laundry soap and other last minute items for the ship. Day 1-Embarkation Day: We arrived at the port at 1030. We waited for approx 1 hour outside in the line. We were in the first 50 to board the ship which meant we were able to sit in the terminal rather than out in the heat once they started letting us in for ID checks and issuing of sea pass cards. While we were waiting we met up with a couple from our meet & mingle board, whom we enjoyed chatting with along with others seated around us as we all excitedly waited to board the ship. Time passed rather quickly because we were keeping each other company. Once on board we headed to the Windjammers for lunch. I had to have the Honey Stung Chicken, it is a boarding day tradition for us. Unfortunately it was very dry, good thing is that we ordered it room service one night during the cruise and it was delicious. The Windjammer definitely needs some improvement, the food during the week was just okay. After lunch we toured the ship and went to find our cabin. Our cabin, 8330 was very comfortable & clean, we did not have any problems at all with our room. Our stateroom attendant was very nice and helpful,I can't remember how to spell his name, but he took great care of us during our stay. After unpacking our carry-on bags, DH took a nap and I headed to the pool area to meet up with the Meet & Mingle group from Cruise Critic. At 5:30 we were still waiting for one of our bags to arrive, 5:45pm we headed to the mandatory 6pm muster drill. Ours was held in the Mozart dining room. I was grossed out as I watched people at our table playing with the silverware and glasses that would later be used for dinner. After the drill we went back to our room to check for the delayed luggage. At 6:30pm the bag was located. Our My time dining reservation was for 6:30pm but due to the delayed luggage we didn't get there until 7:00pm. We were seated in the same area we had been in for the muster drill but at a different table. Things in the dining room appeared to be somewhat chaotic at least in our area. I suspect it had to do with the muster drill pushing everyone dining time back. Our waiter, Lynnell, very warm and friendly, came over to greet us and gave us a menu to review. Approx. 15 minutes. went by before our assistant waiter came over to fill our glasses with water. Everyone in our section seemed to be experiencing a wait so we just took it in stride. We never got eye contact from any of the our wait staff and they seem to be so busy that we didn't ask for anything. We just hoped Tuesday would be better. Day 2-St. Thomas (Formal Night): We did the Sapphire Beach tour offered through the ship. It was a nice and very relaxing day on the beach. The price included a lounge chair, snorkel gear and a drink. On the way back to the ship the driver took us on a scenic tour of the island, we were able to take stop to take pictures and purchase souvenirs from the vendors. Once back on board, I headed for my appointment at the Spa with Jennifer which was wonderful, will definitely do that again next cruise. This night was formal night. Things went smoothly in the dining room. Although both DH & I feel that our assistant waiter is rather inattentive. We have to ask for refills on our drinks and for bread. We never had to do that on the Freedom of the Seas or Allure. Day 3-St. Kitt: I got up early to hit the gym before we left to ship. We did not plan any excursions for this port, we decided to walk around, do a little shopping and had lunch at the restaurant on the dock. Afterwards we headed back to the ship to hang out by the pool. We had dinner at Portofino's with some of our Meet & Mingle friends from the Cruise Critic board. The service and the food were amazing & the company was fun and entertaining...a great time was had by all! Day 4- Sea Day: I got up early and headed to the gym for a workout. I love the gym & sauna on Adventure! After my workout it was on to pick up DH and our gift for the Meet & Mingle. I think this was the biggest M&M group of our 3 sailings. Clare, our event hostess/director was wonderful, she is so Funny!!! I enjoyed spending time with all the people I'd been talking with for the past year. Tonight, our dinner in the main dining room went better, the staff didn't appear rushed. Our waiter Lynnell is warm and friendly and explains everything well. Still not sure about our assistant waiter, he's not attentive at all, no attention to detail. Day5- Aruba: We booked the Sail Away Snorkel Adventure through the ship, the group is the Pelican Adventure Tour. It was GREAT!!! We snorkeled in 2 locations, had lunch at a restaurant of the pier at Palm Beach. Our tour guides were wonderful, we even had a chance to do some Salsa dancing on the ship while we sailed. If we get the chance to come back to Aruba we will do an excursion with them! After the trip we headed back to the ship to shower and rest a bit before heading out for dinner. I made reservations on line several months ago for Passions on the Beach. We caught the bus right outside the port for $2.30 one way, told the driver we wanted to go to Amsterdam Manor where the restaurant is located, no problem there is a bus stop right there. It was amazing...we got to experience a beautiful and breathtaking sunset as we dined on the beach. The view, service and food were wonderful! Day 6-Curacao (Formal Night): We did not book any excursions for this port, we did some shopping and returned to the ship, and back to the pool area to relax. We went to the main dining room for dinner again. There are less people on our side tonight. Our assistant waiter spends a lot of time at the main station looking around, he doesn't make eye contact. As he passes to serve others just seated, I call out to him. Tonight things are really....off for us in the main dining room. We have to ask for butter for the table, for drink refills which were soda and lemonade, for more bread. During dinner I watched as our assistant waiter put a butter dish on a stained table cloth on the table next to us to cover the stain that was pointed out to him. I rolled my eyes & shook my head....you can cover a stain with butter but can't take care of your customer!?! I did note that there are no bar servers visible so the assistant waiter has to go get any drinks we have ordered. Our past 2 cruises the bar tenders would be walking around offering their services. I ordered prime rib medium for dinner, when it arrived it was well done....not happy. When the assistant waiter is passing by I ask for the waiter, Lynnell. She comes over, I tell her of the problem with the food. I ask to have what my DH is having. I tell DH to eat before his food is cold as it takes a little bit for my plate to be delivered. After the main dish we leave...we don't want dessert. Kind of disgusted with the service. Day 7- Sea Day: I received a call inviting me to try an Acupuncture Treatment at a 30% discount. I said yes...I'd always wanted to try acupuncture but just hadn't done so. John took great care of me! I do feel some relief from my neck and shoulder pain, just wish I had tried it sooner. We decided to stay away from the main dining room tonight, still frustrated by the night before. We had Johnny Rockets, it was good, great service...no problems! Day 8-Disembark Day: We headed down to deck 2 Conference room at 0700. There were a lot of people already down there. It seemed to be rather chaotic. Once staff started checking our passports and customs form I thought that was it, but boy was I wrong...it was just the beginning. We were herded into 2 conference rooms where we waited for about an hour. From there we lined up again to exit the ship, there were a lot of stairs to go down, more than we expected and a long line again. Once we cleared customs we went to find the transportation we had contracted with Royal. We found the people at the port to be very unhelpful and indifferent. We watched as other cruisers walked up to find their transportation. We asked a couple if they were taking Royals transportation to the airport, they said yes, so we followed them. I was afraid to put my carry-on in the trailer truck they had for the luggage for fear that it wouldn't arrive at the airport. We couldn't get a clear yes...from those at the port as to whether that was the correct trailer we were putting our luggage in. I figured that at least we'd have our carry-on with us. All in all it was a great week of relaxation around the pool area and some fun ports. We met some wonderful people. The down side was the disembark,the less than satisfactory service by our assistant waiter, and pushing and shoving at the elevators. We will cruise again but not sure yet if it will be out of San Juan. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
Having just come off the Adventure of the Seas, there were alot of great things about the ship and just a few not so great things. The greatest was the crew. They really go above and beyond to make your experience a good one and to get ... Read More
Having just come off the Adventure of the Seas, there were alot of great things about the ship and just a few not so great things. The greatest was the crew. They really go above and beyond to make your experience a good one and to get to know you. Marcio in the Sports area is excellent and always has a smile for everybody. The dining room crew was fantantic to the children at our table and made sure they had a great time when they came to dinner by showing them how to make animals out of napkins or bring them around the dining room during the waiter dances. The ship is starting to show wear but is kept extremely clean. The two main problem we had with the ship was the embarkation where we waiting from 1:00-3:30pm in line. RCCL needs to find something to expidate this since they know there will be 4500 people checking in during the 5 hour period and keeping them standing in line is not acceptable. The other problem is beyond their control. Since this ship left out of San Juan, the ship was 75-80% Puerto Rican passengers who spoke only Spanish. The elevators would be completely full and would stop at a floor and 3 more Puerto Ricans would try to jam on, Americans and Europeans would wait until the next elevator. This happened everyday of our cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
This was our second TA, and we chose RCL because of the price and itinerary. The value was unbeatable and we enjoyed every aspect of the experience. The seas were so calm and each day was incredible. This cruise presented a great mix of ... Read More
This was our second TA, and we chose RCL because of the price and itinerary. The value was unbeatable and we enjoyed every aspect of the experience. The seas were so calm and each day was incredible. This cruise presented a great mix of ports and sea days and 5 of the 8 ports were new to us. Although the AoS is beginning to show her age, she was well cared for and the crew works hard to maintain a high standard. There were a few ( less than 30) cases of norovirus while we were on board, but this was handled efficiently and well. We took the recommended precaution of using the hand washes stationed throughout the ship, and making sure to wash hands thoroughly after each washroom trip. Such simple steps to prevent a miserable experience. Both the embarkation in Malaga and the disembarkation in San Juan were smooth and efficient. As Gold members, we waited very comfortably in the Mozart dining room in San Juan and were able to have coffee, tea, juice and pastries while waiting. The embarkation and security check at the terminal in Malaga was quick and easy. Baggage was delivered and picked up with no problems encountered. We used the main dining room for all breakfasts and for lunches on sea days. The wait for tables was short and the service was very good. Menu choices were more than adequate. I went to the cereal and fruit buffet each morning and chose the salad buffet at lunch time. There was always a great array of choices and I always left the room perfectly full and satisfied. We went to the Windjammer for lunch after shore excursions and found the choices and service there very satisfying as well. Our late dining each night was the perfect choice for us and our waiter and assistant were superb. The meals were always well prepared and excellently presented. The absolute best meal of the entire cruise was the special lunch for Cruise Critic members. The menu choices were varied and I had the best Chilean sea bass ever! My husband also raved about his seafood medley and other table mates were more than pleased with their filets. Appetizers and desserts were equally as good. We bought a Gold wine package and were happy with the choices. RCL had a few surprises in store with being able to purchase wine at the dutyfree store in Malaga and then allowing that wine to be brought on board for the cruise. Unfortunately, we did not know about this until sailing time and therefore were unable to take advantage of it. If they change the rules, it would be beneficial to let the passengers benefit from the changes with a notice e-mailed to each passenger. We have cruised many times on the mainstream cruise lines and have almost always enjoyed the entertainment. This cruise the entertainment was varied and excellent. I would classify the Beatles tribute, the Forever show and the ice show as superb! As second seating guests we almost always had our show at 7 pm and I was surprised at the number of empty seats in the Lyric theatre. We booked a Promenade stateroom and were very comfortable there. It was kept in great order by a very efficient steward. This was a good choice as we paid for an inside cabin, but had a view to the Promenade which let in a fair amount of light. While it seemed difficult to locate deck chairs on some sea days, it was still possible to locate some if you wanted to be either in shade or away from the excitement which we do prefer. This was a very enjoyable cruise following a 2 week land trip in Spain. My only complaints are with the long wait( over 75 minutes ) to comply with US Immigration, and the lack of ports for the TA cruises in the next year. We find we will have to return to either Princess or HAL to find what we want next fall. However, kudos RCL and the entire staff of AoS for an extremely relaxing time. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
This was our 3rd cruise with RCCL. Checking in in Malaga was a dream. We left the hotel around 10:15 thinking that there would be a line up of cars and taxis a mile long at the port like it was always the case in the past. Our taxi did ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise with RCCL. Checking in in Malaga was a dream. We left the hotel around 10:15 thinking that there would be a line up of cars and taxis a mile long at the port like it was always the case in the past. Our taxi did not even have to slow down. We were promptly taken care of and we were having a soup (how good after 5 days of tapas)in the Windjammer by 11:00. It was our first transatlantic cruise and we enjoyed the trip even if so much blue seas gets to you after a while. In 6 days, we saw nothing but water. No other ships, not a light at night. I must admit that I was thinking of the 70 days crossing of Columbus and had a better understanding of how his men must have felt. What attracted us on this trip was primarily the exotic destinations. Madeira. Wow ! Here is a beautiful piece of rock with houses going up to the clouds. Then Lanzarote and it's lunar landscape, and I mean literally lunar. No wonder Hollywood comes here to film the moon. Then the Canteras beach at Las Palmas of Grand Canaria. We were lucky enough to see a magnificent sculpture in the sand. Some people have real talents. And finishing the grand tour, Santa Cruz of Tenerife, with it's small but charming public market. Captain Holmes then took us out to sea for 6 days. The first 3 days, we were going at a fair pace of 18-20 knots. Once the captain felt secure about his arrival time in Antigua, our speed slowed down considerably and we had the impression of crawling rather than moving. Thank god there was plenty to do on the ship. We lost a bit at the casino, played mini golf, did our daily walking around, went to shows. The same films for 15 days on tv becomes awfully repetitive but it is a good way to practice Spanish, french or German. The reception of the news is very spotty and so is the Internet. Drew Devine was our crew director. I'm not a rah rah rah kind of guy so he got on my nerves right away and I hated him but everybody else liked him so he must have been pretty good. They had some fairly good performers and they seemed to get even better after looking at the blue sea for 6 days in a row. The staff was the usual quasi-perfection. The room attendant was efficient and nice and tried not to be in the way. The waiters of the dining room were their usual charming selves but I went there only one night. I had a miserably small portion of minestrone, 4 open face grilled shrimps that had lost all moisture and a decent if not excellent tiramisu. It took one hour and 15 minutes to get served which is by far the fastest dining room service I have ever experienced on a cruise ship. Decorum is not my thing as I would rather eat than go there. There are a lot more food options in the Windjammer with a better choice of desserts, and if you show up early, the quality is definitely better. Last year, I cruised on the twin ship Explorer out of New York. For the same ship, the Adventure was a lot better. The seating in the Windjammer for one is comfortable. The armchairs can fit and average person. There is space in between the tables. All this because the Adventure has 2 less food islands in the Island Grill. The waiters appeared calmer, more relaxed, less tense. I guess the crowd from Malaga was also very different than the one on our New York cruise and that may have helped. They also appeared to have less waiters roaming asking people for drinks. Sometimes, we had to get up and go to the bars ourselves but I like this alternative better than being constantly asked if I want another one. The Adventure was in a good and safe shape, certainly in better shape than the Explorer but I must admit they were more small things not to par, like elevator buttons not working, mini bars not cooling and burned lights in rooms than any other ship I have been on. The interactive tv was not working at all for the first few days and only sporadically afterwards. Maybe I had simply more time to notice after 6 days at sea. After the crossing was Antigua, my second visit. There seemed to have less dogs dying of hunger in town and I finally found the VC Bird monument, unlike anything I have ever seen. We then spent a day in St Marteen, Marigot this time as we had visited Philipsburg last year. Marigot is nice and we finally found a jewelry that is not totally cheap or outrageously expensive. The name is Mayas, right in the main square. Finally, St Thomas where we had to go through the infernal US immigration process. From what we had read, we expected a nightmare. It took a while but was less painful than expected. We were out of the ship by 10:15 and were almost the last ones in line. Then a quick trip to Charlotte Amalie and my cherished Amalia Cafe to finally end the trip in San Juan. RCCL did a great job emptying the ship and US customs were about at par. We were out of there around 10:30, not bad given the crowd. What an experience for the price. If you want bang for your buck, go for a transat. That was really a nice one all around. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
We flew in the day of our cruise to San Juan, we did have a non stop flight or else we wouldn't have chosen to fly in the day of. Upon arriving at the pier everything embarkation went very smoothly for us. Which was surprising ... Read More
We flew in the day of our cruise to San Juan, we did have a non stop flight or else we wouldn't have chosen to fly in the day of. Upon arriving at the pier everything embarkation went very smoothly for us. Which was surprising considering the horror stories I had heard. We arrived at about 2:30pm and were directed to the embarkation line and were on the ship in less than an hour. We proceeded to our stateroom and met our Room Steward Gerald. The first thing we noticed was an odor in our room that smelled like someone had been smoking in our room. We talked to Gerald about the odor and upon our return to the room the odor was gone. The ice we requested was in our room daily as was the extra pillows. I had brought a small fan to use at night and an extension cord just magically appeared without asking. Gerald was an awesome steward. We went to the pool bar to meet some of our cruise critic friends, found them no problem, what an exceptional friendly group of people. We had an awesome week with amazing people. I'm so glad I found Cruise Critic and became a member. Muster Drill was done at 5:30pm with no issues or problems. We proceeded to get dressed for our first meal in the Main Dining Room. We sat at dinner with Ginnie one of our Cruise Critic friends at a table for 4. Ronald was our waiter and our assistant waiter was Tommy, we thought both of them did a wonderful job of taking care of us. I am on a special medically supervised diet and Ronald went out of his way to make sure I had what I needed. My every need was seen to, special meals were made for me every night. We ate breakfast every morning in the Main Dining Room. We found the Windjammer to be a little to hectic for us and again my dietary needs were met no problem. The few times we ate lunch in the Windjammer we thought the food was good. We didn't have lunch that often. Sailing from San Juan there was a larger group of Hispanic cruisers and one very large group traveling together. Actually due to this large group there was only one show in The Lyric Theater each night. This was not really a big deal or even an in convince for us we just went with the flow. An amazing show on this cruise was the Ice Show. Linda one of our Cruise Critic friends was kind enough to think of us and get us tickets for this show. It was the best entertainment on this ship a definite don't miss. We had Dinner one night in Portofinos with a small group from Cruise Critic. The meal and service were excellent. Well worth the $20.00 charge. The company was even better. Both my husband and I visited the Spa twice each. We both had Manicures done, Rebecca did an awesome job, then I had a Facial done Louise was amazing a very relaxing treatment and my Husband got a hot shave which he really enjoyed. We could both get use to this kind of treatment very easily. Debarkation was a bit confusing and we were never given the declaration forms a head of time. It also was not easy for us to find our luggage but, once we did and had the paper work filled out everything went smoothly. We were in a taxi and on our way to the airport no problem. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
This was cruise #79 for me. So from a point of view of, NOT expecting perfection, which seems to be a priority for some people. I am fortunate to vacation frequently so this may play into the tolerance. :) This was my husband's ... Read More
This was cruise #79 for me. So from a point of view of, NOT expecting perfection, which seems to be a priority for some people. I am fortunate to vacation frequently so this may play into the tolerance. :) This was my husband's preference for itinerary, as I get bored "silly" with too many sea days. :) We, now, take a TA every year, with the first about 25 years ago on the QE2. Highlight for me, was the return on the Concorde. :) This cruise was booked during a sale with give away rates. TA's can be found to be an excellent vacation value. This particular one, had a Canary Island itinerary which we had not visited before. The St. Maartin port was the bonus for my husband, since his routine here is to park himself at the Sunset Bar all day. :) We fly stand by, and the flight plans I made ended up being pure luck and were the last available I would have, to make the ship, due to Sandy. We left to fly into Madrid 6 days prior. Madrid is a wonderful tourist city which we enjoyed. We took a cheap AVE train to Malaga for another 3 nights. Drove to Gibralter for a wonderful day trip. Took a cab to the ship. Embarkment had a short line and was on board within an hour of leaving the hotel. We were in a cheap inside cabin, which I didn't care where it was, as long as it was on the ship!!! Cabin Steward was extremely helpful with my wheelchair using husband. Always seemed to appear to open the door- out of nowhere. :) We did the My Time dining last year, and didn't really find it had the "freedom" that we prefer, so we didn't use it this trip. The Windjammer food was OK, and something could always be found we liked. The hours were excellent with ease of getting something if coming back later from port activities. Overall- ALL lines have cut back on food options, so, in my opinion- it isn't reasonable to expect more. Sea days had no problem finding seating in shade, which we prefer. They did have some shortages of puzzles. Enterainment was very good. We didn't go every night, but what we saw was very enjoyable with no problem with getting seats. Did again enjoy the ice show, with stand by seating. We are Diamond so went to the Imperial lounge most nights. The two C&A cocktail parties were crowded but still a nice perk. Cruise Critic's M&G was crowded with trouble for late arrivals finding seats. A lot of door prizes. The bonus was the special lunch RCI arranged with a superb menu and food. This sailing was super smooth with excellent warm weather- unlike every prior westbound trip, for us in this timeframe. The Canary Islands were very enjoyed by us, each very different from the other, wonderful scenery. We were lucky to have hooked up with 3 tours arranged by Cruise Critic members. The Caribbean is a so so destination for us. But my husband does like parking himself by the Princess Juliana Airport all day and watching the planes land, (retired A&P mechanic and prior private pilot). We didn't do much past the port areas in the other two ports. We did self disembarkment and was off the ship at 7:30am with no waits in San Juan. Took a cab to the airport and had no problem standing by and getting on a 9:45am flight. RCI again was very enjoyed by the two of us. Great service and a great ship. Excellent vacation value at the rock bottom prices. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
This was one of the best cruises we've ever taken. The most striking thing about this cruise was the people - passengers, staff and crew. Since we originated in Malaga, Spain, the majority of the passengers were from the UK with ... Read More
This was one of the best cruises we've ever taken. The most striking thing about this cruise was the people - passengers, staff and crew. Since we originated in Malaga, Spain, the majority of the passengers were from the UK with many from various parts of Europe, Australia and, of course, the US. The ambiance of the ship was very pleasant. We had a very large group of hearing impaired passengers so the ship was very quiet. We had a very nice Meet & Mingle event with nice raffle prizes. The loyalty members parties were quite nice as well as were the wonderful breakfasts - wonderful dishes such as eggs benedict, specialty coffees, etc. The evening cocktail hour offerings were wines, mimosas and bellinies. The complimentary pizzas, sandwiches and desserts at the promenade cafes were delightful. The ship is beautiful. We enjoyed walking around the Promenade with various bars and stores and nightly events. Royal Caribbean goes out of its way to ensure that the guests are treated well and that all problems are quickly resolved. The Guest Relations Department was one of the best I've ever encountered. Embarkation went very smoothly. Disembarkation was a different story. But then when is disembarkation not a challenge? The ice show was very enjoyable. My only complaint is that I waited in line for over an hour to get tickets and later that afternoon they were at the Guest Relations desk in large quantities. I found the variety of activities to be lacking, especially since we had 6 sea days in a row. The televisions are quite old and the sound quality is very poor. There were very few movies shown in the theatre and on TV. Instead we enjoyed spending time with very interesting people we met from all over the world. The Restaurant Operations Manager and Executive Chef invited Cruise Critic members to a wonderful lunch. The food was exceptional as were the wines. There were many in attendance and the service was outstanding and we were not rushed out of the dining room at the end of the luncheon. Unlike some other cruises we've been on, the pools were open even when we were in port. We didn't get off the ship in some ports and it was wonderful to enjoy a lovely day at the pool. There was a nice variety of excursions in the various ports - at fair prices. We took 3 excursions and enjoyed them all. Royal Caribbean did a very good job in managing a very large amount of people going on various excursions. Unfortunately internet service was very poor. However, Guest Relations was very helpful when we complained about internet problems and gave us credit when we had problems. I have found internet service on all cruise lines to be very frustrating, very expensive, and very inadequate. In this day and age cruise lines should provide better service at better rates than they do. I can dream, can't I? The food in the dining room is, at best, fair. Most of the fish dishes were bland and I had to use a lot of tartar sauce. The variety and quality of the food was lacking. I know it's quite challenging too feed thousands of people but it's not that difficult to make dishes that taste good. However, the service was outstanding. I'm sure the Adventure of the Seas is geared for short cruises which was apparent in the size of the cabins and small amount of storage space. All in all, this was a wonderful cruise and we have memories to last a lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2012
Being a retired Navy pilot, let me tell you that cruising on any cruise ship is far more enjoyable than on an aircraft carrier. Anyone that complains about the food or the accommodations or the entertainment needs a reality check. ... Read More
Being a retired Navy pilot, let me tell you that cruising on any cruise ship is far more enjoyable than on an aircraft carrier. Anyone that complains about the food or the accommodations or the entertainment needs a reality check. Adventure of the Seas - been aboard twice and April 2013 will be my 3rd visit. This is a great ship. Our first cruise aboard this ship was in 2003. Our waiter was Charanjeet Singh. Excellent service performance along with the quality of the food. On our next visit, Charanjeet was now a Head Waiter. And he remebered us. On our upcoming visit, we expect him to be the Lord and Master of the Dining room. Entertainment - our first visit - Beatlemania. Everyone was dancing in the aisles. Jacuzzis - many, and the water was clean and hot. And no children in the Solarium. Ice skating - think about it. You can ice skate near Aruba or Curacao. And the show is nothing short of excellent. On the Promenade, you can buy a cupcake for $8 - the shop is run buy TWO Broke Girls. But the pizza is free, even the Tony Soprano style. The beer in the Sports Cafe and the Schooner Bar is always fresh and bubbly. Most of the ports of call on the eastern side and the southern side are interesting and the excursions are not that expensive. St Maarten - you can shop on Front Street like a maniac, then walk 1 block to the west and relax on the beach. $20 will get you 2 chairs, and umbrella, and 2 cans of Heinekin. Cruising is great. I get so bummed out after disembarkation. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2012
This was our second cruise (the first was on 2010). We started to look for a cruise when we were told of our kids November vacation's schedule. Their week off coincided with their birthday and with the cruising low season in Europe. ... Read More
This was our second cruise (the first was on 2010). We started to look for a cruise when we were told of our kids November vacation's schedule. Their week off coincided with their birthday and with the cruising low season in Europe. The fact that RCI had a cruise leaving from Malaga on a interesting itinerary to Canary Islands at a really good price, convinced us to go. The ship was the Adventure of the Seas, the same ship we had already cruised before but that was not a problem, as we had really liked the first time. We learned from previous mistakes and travelled to Malaga the day before, which allowed us to visit the city. We slept at the very convenient and confortable Barcelo Malaga, right on the train station/shopping center, as we went from Madrid to Malaga by AVE, the Spanish high speed train. In Malaga, we visited Picasso's museum and the Cathedral. Next day, we went to port at 11:00 AM, just after a late breakfast. Arriving early, check-in was a breeze and in 15 minutes we had dispatched our luggage, had our sea pass cards, shopped at the duty free shops, got our kids the security bracelets and boarded the ship, in time to sit at a still almost empty Windjammer for lunch. During the cruise, we always ate at the Windjammer for breakfast and lunch. It was still a crowded place, but getting tables was less difficult than on our first cruise. I guess, the main reason was the passenger mix. This time, only 500 Spanish people were on board, being the third nationality after 1500 British and 600 Irish. So, our Spanish eating habit and times (late breakfast and lunch) seemed a better option. Food in the Windjammer is perfectly ok buffet food. We enjoyed eating there. For dinner, we had a second turn slot allocated at our request, and we ate everyday at the Main Dining Room for exquisite food and exceptional service. It must be luck, but we only had the best astonishing good service with RCI so far. Very nice waiter and assistant, very attentive to our needs and requests. For my kids birthday, a cake + candles + happy birthday was provided by them, together with balloons. Compared to our previous cruise, we felt that this time the activities organization was lacking a little bit, maybe due to a weaker cruise director. There were no parades, the 70s party and the pool buffet were really much weaker than last time. We only watched the first spectacle on the theater, a show called "El Gaucho". The next spectacles were compromised by what I consider a bad policy mistake on RCI's part. The problem is that my kids were appointed to the Adventure Ocean, which only opens at 7:00 PM (and not only once, opened a few minutes late), while the shows for second turn dinner also start at 7:00PM, making it impossible for parents to leave their kids and go get a seat in time for the theater. We did watch the Ice Hockey show at 7:00 PM on day 3 of our cruise because our kids also wanted to see it. But from day 4 onwards, we were always busy leaving them at their mini-club at spectacle time. We booked the a type H deck 2 outside cabin, same type we had last time. Looking at the AOS deck plans, we chose cabin 2338 because it was supposed to be the only one with a sofa-bed and we thought that this would be better than having 2 overhead beds for the kids. Alas, it is incorrect information as this room does not have a sofa bed. It does have a couple of overhead beds, so not big deal, just a small disapointment. Also, this room communicates with 2336 and as consequence, the 2 place sofa is replace by a single place chair. That was more annoying as we did not need the communicating room and the larger sofa was surely missed. Otherwise, the cruise was highly enjoyable, relaxing and worth it. We spent a lot of time on our own activities, from ice skating to mini golfing to jacuzzing to partying and even playing on the casino. We especially liked the lively ambiance on bars with music in the evenings. Two special events marked our trip. Halloween was celebrated on Oct 31st, and the ambiance was great. From the kid's halloween party to the royal promenade disguised parade, the ship was pure excitement. Also, my kid's birthday, which was celebrated throughout the day, on the Adventure Ocean, on the MDR and also by some crew members who just helped to know it and made a point of saluting my kids. I had read lots of complaints in this forum regarding this ship, ranging from "bad behaviour of passengers" to "smoking on public areas" to "bad food and service" and also "screaming kids". Well, for us, none of these problems existed, we did not see it nor felt anything like that. The ship is well maintained, clean and gorgeous. Service was excelent, to the point of having people remember our names and my kids birthday, and not only on the MDR. Passenger's were very polite, including during the usual though situations one encounters, like lack of tables or elevator queues. So, bottom line, I give it a 100%. Loved it and will go back again. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2012
The ship was spotless, the crew and food excellent. I had tried to keep an open mind in view of previous reviews about sailing from Malaga but after a week of noisy people who could not seem to grasp the concept of noise or child control ... Read More
The ship was spotless, the crew and food excellent. I had tried to keep an open mind in view of previous reviews about sailing from Malaga but after a week of noisy people who could not seem to grasp the concept of noise or child control or following guest rules the majority of huests did wear a little thin and in common with every British fmily we spoke with we would not sail from Malag again. Next year the adventure will be based in Southampton which hopefully has a far better organised port sustem than Malaga. That said to make the most of the cruise we found it a good idea to; go on the introduction tour, which amazingly RCI dont charge you for (the 'behind the scenes ship tour' is $150 each!!. Take long trousers if you want to go skating Do your ironing before you go as you cant use an iron on board Malaga has duty free shops at the terminal and we were able to buy a bottle of gin to take aboard in our hand luggage without problem, the shops had said it was fine and ours was the ony ship using it, we bought some tonics in Valancia as the mini bar prices are not mini! If you want to sunbathe topless there is a deck for it about the skybar. The main pool can get very crowded and noisy with aqua robics etc, deck chairs in the adults only Solarium are better but the quietest place is on the decks forward of the bridge. Only Junior Suites and above have tea and coffee in the rooms but you can get it from cafe promenande, the windjammer cafe and there is a coffee station on the pool deck 7-10am and 3-6pm. We prebooked our evening dinning in the main dining room which was excellent and far more of an event than the scrum that can be the windjammer, specially later when the Spanish eat The ship docks in Valencia on a sunday so most shops are not open but touristy ones are and you dont have long there so why waste time shopping, its a beautiful city and well worth viisting using thier $15 shuttle service. Tours do fill up so booking early is advisable. The port for Rome shuts for siesta 1-5 so you might as well get back on board by then if you havent gone to Rome. Read Less
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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