588 Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We could tell that the carpets and love seat were new, however I had back and neck aches the whole time -- they needed to replace the mattress and pillows during the updating. This is ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We could tell that the carpets and love seat were new, however I had back and neck aches the whole time -- they needed to replace the mattress and pillows during the updating. This is our 2nd cruise on RC. Our first was to Alaska and we had a wonderful experience, so we wanted to try RC again on a new adventure. We have never been to the Caribbean before, so all of this was new to us. Not through the fault of Royal Caribbean, but when we arrived the night before the cruise, when we were actually standing in front of it -- we found out our hotel had been closed since the hurricane. No one bothered to tell us that (in San Juan, Puerto Rico). The cabbies told us that 80% of the hotels are not in business anymore. After too much time and into the night; we were able to get a hotel room. ANYONE traveling into Puerto Rico, Please triple check that you have a place to stay. We even received a confirmation e-mail to check in, the day before! We did not have any time to explore San Juan. The line to get on the ship was well organized and when it started moving, did not take too long. We thought the food on the ship was pretty good, even in the buffet. The only complaint I had regarding food was that they overcooked the eggs for all versions of eggs Benedict that they served. So, not bad for all the meals we ate! :) We bought the beverage package and were Very disappointed in both the quality and selections we had for wine that was included with this package. There is a nice wine list, but most of the selections were above the $12.00 allotment for the beverage package. We think that we should have a full selection of wines with the price we pay for the beverage package. Also, unless you ask, the bartenders give you the low end of the price range for brands of alcohol in your drinks. The servers in the main dining room were overworked and barely had time to say hello. They worked Hard and we appreciated it. I don't know if Royal Caribbean cut the amount of people they hire -- and if they did then it was a mistake. All the people working there seemed over worked, which made us feel badly for them. Also, the bread basket on the table ---- too much waste. We had a table for 2 and we did not eat 6 pieces of bread/rolls between the two of us. The bread and pastries were nice and fresh though -- not at all dry! We arranged one excursion through Royal Caribbean -- Railroad around St. Kitts. It was a fun and interesting tour, however the cost through the cruise ship was costly. The only other tour we booked was through Cosol in St. Lucia. It was a lot of fun and worth the expense. The other days we just walked through the towns and went to local beaches. We did get a cab to the beach in St. Maarten where the planes land. It was a fun experience, but the beach is has rough waves - so be careful not to get rolled! Overall, it was a really nice winter break. When San Juan has their economy going well again, electricity, hotels......I hope to be able to visit again. They need the tourists money, but more importantly, they need their government to use that money to Fix things there (and not their own pockets). Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose the cruise based on itinerary as we had been to USVI area and wanted to check out Aruba and some other different islands. Mainly, we wanted to enjoy summer weather. We were tripped up in the Northeast storm that hit 3/2 and ... Read More
We chose the cruise based on itinerary as we had been to USVI area and wanted to check out Aruba and some other different islands. Mainly, we wanted to enjoy summer weather. We were tripped up in the Northeast storm that hit 3/2 and 3/3. Our flight to Philadelphia was cancelled and there were no available flights to get us to Puerto Rico before it left on Saturday. American Airlines did allow us to change our flight to Curacao on Sunday so we could meet the ship in the first port, no extra charge. We did end up spending a lot of money on taxis because when we got to the ship we were told we had to go to customs (via another taxi ride) and get an Exit Visa since we officially entered the country. Every time you step into a taxi it is $20 regardless of how far. We finally boarded the ship and had a lovely balcony room (never again in an interior) which happened to be on the side overlooking each port which was handy to survey the island. The service was always excellent, our attendant was friendly. The host was very good. The entertainment was mixed. We were very impressed with the magician/comedy show, the trivia games and karaoke were run well, the ice skating show was very good. The last comedian was cringe worthy. We chose not to dine in the dining room since our last experience was it made us too sluggish to do after dinner activities. We thought the food was fantastic at first but then it didn't have enough variety (lighter fare) and started to look unappealing. Salad bar and fruit selections are same limited choices every day. We chose not to do excursions through the cruise in order to save money (and pay for the balcony room!). I did a lot of research and booked Curacao Dolphin Academy's Dolphin Swim directly (saving $100 each person but having to provide your own transportation). We loved the dolphin swim, the staff was wonderful and we felt we had enough time in the water and the groups were small (6 people). In Bonaire we booked an afternoon snorkeling excursion directly with Woodwind. It was top notch. In Aruba we decided to just hit a couple of beaches. First we took a taxi to Eagle Beach which was a beautiful wide beach without a lot of people (although you can rent beach chairs, we just spread out under a tree). It was a windy day and the waves were big enough to pummel you if you weren't careful. We then walked to Palm Beach (it was farther than I anticipated) and got some beach chairs near the Palm Pier. The water was more protected here but there were also a lot more people and businesses. We took a taxi back to the ship and then walked around downtown. The last stop was St. Martin which had been hit by the hurricanes last year. We took a taxi to the famous Orient Beach which was especially hard hit. All of the buildings were gone or badly damaged but the debris on the beach had been cleared away and a few vendors were renting beach chairs and umbrellas. The beach is on a large bay so the water is calm and beautiful. The taxi drop off was in the nude beach section (next to the devastated Club Orient beach cabins that were being razed) but we walked down to the other side of the beach. My only real complaint is that on cruising days, although there are signs that the staff will remove towels from unoccupied chairs, that didn't happen and there was no way to find a good chair since 3000 people were competing for 500 or so chairs. We were so happy to have our balcony so we could enjoy the fresh air. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We have been cruising every year for almost 20 years and have platinum status on Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. We almost always cruise out of Puerto Rico and spend a week in Puerto Rico before the cruise. We used to be able to choose ... Read More
We have been cruising every year for almost 20 years and have platinum status on Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. We almost always cruise out of Puerto Rico and spend a week in Puerto Rico before the cruise. We used to be able to choose between 7 ships, but now our options are limited to 4. One of the options is Carnival (which i have cuised with twice, but will likely not ever cruise on again - not because our experiances were bad, but because they weren’t great. It is a cheaper cruise, but you get what you pay for?). Fortunately, Royal Caribbean is one of our 3 top picks for cruise lines (princess and celebrity being the other two). Adventure is a nice ship and we were fortunate enough to get a room on a brand new refurbished deck (deck 12 at the front) so the room and area around our room were great. There really wasn’t anything about the ship that i didn’t like. The prominade is very nice, especially if you have any rain on a sea day or in the evenings. At 3200 passengers, it was a little bigger than i prefer, but that is only my preference. The plus of the bigger ship is more facilities. I found there to be more than enough deck space on sea days. If anything, the only thing i can say that i didn’t like was the evening dining menu. The food was very good overall, but it did lack in variety, from the appetizers, to the entrees to the deserts. Very disappointing was the lack of chilled soups (only one the whole cruise - at least it was good). Of course, i am comparing it to the old days of cruising where they served 5 course meals. The itinerary was great (Curacau, Bonaire, Aruba and St Maarten) we loved the options available at all of the ports. It looks to me like the onboard ship excursions were cheaper this year than i remember them being. We quite often arrange our own excursions now as we know most of the islands and what is available at them. As for the onboard entertainment, it was ok (we went every night). 2 of the headliners were great (comedian and magician), 1 was ok (impressionist) and one was not my cup of tea. He basically had to restrain himself the whole bit and told everyone to make sure to come back for the late nite adult show where he could really “let loose” The band was great (as usual) I have a hard time rating the production shows because this is our second time on the Adventure in recent years, so we’ve seen all 3 of the production shows before. That being said, we got there early and got good seats and watched all 3 shows. I’m not fussy about the Cruise director, Mercedes, not because she was bad, i just didn’t find her as funny as she thought she was. Lastly, being out of Puerto Rico, there was a lot of Spanish on the ship (all announcements were in English and Spanish. I’m not sure if they do that for all cruises?) All in all, we had a great time and enjoyed the week. We will more than likely cruise again next year, just not sure if we are going to stick with Royal on the Freedom next year or try out either Norwegian or Windstar. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I do not like days at sea and this cruise is port heavy. Had not been on RC before, so was interested to see how they stack up. I was pleased with the food service and food quality and the friendliness of everyone except the pool area ... Read More
I do not like days at sea and this cruise is port heavy. Had not been on RC before, so was interested to see how they stack up. I was pleased with the food service and food quality and the friendliness of everyone except the pool area stand workers who were ambivalent. Our cabin steward was great and our wait staff in the main dining room were excellent. The ports were good and we rented a car in each so we could explore wherever we wanted go to. I had prearranged cars. There could have been more interesting things to do on the sea day, but we made our own fun. The water slides and Flow rider were great! I liked the ice skating show, and the singers and dancers were fantastic - we would have like to see more sows with the fine dancing! The comedians could have been offered as extra shows with more dancing shows in the main time slots. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This was our 35th cruise and it has been since the eighties since we have been on RC. We like a lot of stops so this five stop out of San Juan fit the bill. We are part of Anchors and our many trips on Celebrity (our favorite line) ... Read More
This was our 35th cruise and it has been since the eighties since we have been on RC. We like a lot of stops so this five stop out of San Juan fit the bill. We are part of Anchors and our many trips on Celebrity (our favorite line) transferred over and counted towards our award/benefits which included Diamond status, free drinks daily, two free internet days, etc. Cant say we have ever gotten off of any ship and said, "will never go on that ship again" And as is the case here! Ship was very clean and that is why we like to cruise because of the cleanliness and not having to make reservations for dinner, etc. Because of our cruise status, we were seamlessly ushered on board and had lunch and then went to our room which is what we typically do. Room was very clean as usual and steward was very charming and did a great job all week. People were very nice and we had a great week. We had asked for a table of eight which is what we like so we can meet people and have some conversation. We were ushered to a table for two and, there were two people already sitting there. Oh well! first time for everything! We were then taken to a table for eight where there were a two couples that seem disinterested in having any kind of conversation and had plans on using the specialty restaurants for most of the nights which was fine so we asked to be seated at another table. We were put with a fantastic table for ten and had a great week with super people! We don't go on a cruise for the food; we just like to be able to eat when and what we want. If I had one criticism of RC, the dinner menu leaves a lot to be desired. Celebrity and Princess are tops in my book. Don't get me wrong, it is very adequate; but, there is a difference. The Windjammer I thought was very good and a super variety. I had an opportunity to view the presentation there a few nights before we went to the main dining room and I really think, the food there was better! Shows were typical and I had downloaded some movies on my Tablet and took my HDMI wireless device and used it in the room tv and watched episodes with my wife after dinner which made us happy. Very disingenuous to pay gratuities and then have the cabin steward basically "beg" for room tips leaving several tip envelopes in the room. We don't need to be asked for this as we always tip beyond the recommended for the steward. He never even said thank you. Oh well! We got this balcony room at a price that was pretty unbelievable so we got a tremendous week with great weather and had lots of fun. Depending on itinerary, we may find ourselves back on a RC ship in the future. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
The itinerary drew me to book a group on this sailing, Feb. 24- Mar 3, out of San Juan, Puerto Rico, to St. Maarten, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Antigua, and Barbados. The ship had spent a month in dry dock being updated three weeks earlier so ... Read More
The itinerary drew me to book a group on this sailing, Feb. 24- Mar 3, out of San Juan, Puerto Rico, to St. Maarten, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Antigua, and Barbados. The ship had spent a month in dry dock being updated three weeks earlier so was looking pretty good. Our least favorite area was the Casino which had very few modern slot machines. The smoke in the casino needs to be better vented. It was difficult for non-smokers to even pass through the area. We had a lovely wait team in the Main Dining Room making us feel very special throughout the 7 days. The water park, swimming pools and hot tubs, outdoor movie screen, ice skating arena, rock climbing wall, tennis/volleyball/basketball area, miniature golf course, table tennis area, workout and spa areas were all very appealing. Two of the shows in the Lyric Theater (Stephanie Parker, a Whitney Houston tribute artist, was amazing. The ventriloquist/comedian was also very entertaining) were memorable. Two production shows were scheduled; one of them was canceled due to heavy rocking and the possible danger to the dancers. The orchestra, singers, and dancers were also very good. The Love and Marriage Show was a hoot. The Quest, a scavenger type adult competition, was outrageous (men taking off their pants; women, their bras, etc.) but caused a lot of laughter.We didn't go to any of the premium restaurants as the food in the Main Dining Room and Windjammer for lunch was certainly good enough. Our promenade room was great; we love promenade ships as these rooms are very nice and yet way less expensive than balcony rooms. We prefer them to ocean view rooms which are also more expensive. Seems to me that the activities list is getting sparser with each passing year. There used to be more to do. Maybe with 5 ports of call, that could be the reason. We loved our cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
we took a cruise on the Jewel of the Seas last year with some friends and were, frankly, a bit embarrassed by the cruise since we selected the ship. there, the dining room was cramped, not enough waiters, cold food, and a very hurried ... Read More
we took a cruise on the Jewel of the Seas last year with some friends and were, frankly, a bit embarrassed by the cruise since we selected the ship. there, the dining room was cramped, not enough waiters, cold food, and a very hurried atmosphere. this year we were about to undertake an extended family cruise with us (the grandparents), children (late thirties to early forties and spouses) and grandchildren (2 boys ages 8 and 11) and were a little concerned given last year's experience. while there were only 8 of us it covered a wide span of ages and tastes. additionally, we have 4 milk allergic (not just lactose intolerant) and 2 vegetarian/pescatarian. we told this to the head waiter who then worked with the waiter and assistant waiter to be sure all of our needs would be met. each night our food issue members were shown the menu for the following night and made their choices. these menu items were then modified to meet their dietary restraints. it was a little awkward at first but soon it molded into a smooth routine. the dining room was beautiful, the pace relaxed, the food served hot and always choices for all.a huge difference from our experience on the jewel of the seas. on board the grandkids and grandpa enjoyed the basketball court and the slides and free skating was enjoyed by all. the shows ran the gamut of very good (juggler/comedian) to very soso broadway reviews. the casino staff were very professional while not being too stuffy. the embarkation and disembarkation both were very smooth and quick.we have now gone from thinking we would never take another rccl cruise to recommending them to others. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This review is for the Adventure of the Seas sailing to St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Curacao and Aruba that departed from San Juan. This is an objective review coming from a lifetime cruiser that has sailed on Carnival, Norwegian, Disney and ... Read More
This review is for the Adventure of the Seas sailing to St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Curacao and Aruba that departed from San Juan. This is an objective review coming from a lifetime cruiser that has sailed on Carnival, Norwegian, Disney and Royal Caribbean. Will do my best. Embarkation: We departed from the Pan American pier in San Juan and it was very organized. From curb to ship took about 25 minutes at the most. Tip: You might shave off a few minutes if you check-in online and have all of your documents with you. You will also shave off a few minutes if you obtain your luggage tags in advance. Make sure you have your passport/ID with you at all times! First Impression: The ship is very nice, not too large and easy to navigate. The main promenade runs along deck 5 and is pretty impressive. The ship is a little worn in places and I was surprised to see this considering it just came from a month-long dry dock. One example would be some of the table cloths in the dining room were very worn and frayed, some rust around, and dirty windows as well. The ship is clean, just the attention to detail is missing. Service: Overall, the service level on the ship is fairly high. Most of the people are very friendly. The bar tenders and drink waiters were all excellent. I never encountered one in a bad mood. Our room steward did a great job as was always on-point. One thing I noticed at times is that you would have to make the initial contact to say good morning etc... as opposed to the crew saying it to you first. Not a big deal to a guy like me, but it may put other people off. Dining: We had "my-time" dining with a party of 6 and we never had to wait for a table. Our server Godfrey was excellent and never made any mistakes. We had the same server for all nights except for one where we were unable to get him. Dondon was our server that night and he was excellent as well. Drink service was very timely and the food was good. The appetizers were fantastic and almost all of our main courses were good. Food temp and quality were satisfactory. The food in the buffet was very uneven. Some of the items were barely edible, while others were quite good. By the second day we pretty much ditched the buffet and had breakfast in the dining room. Tip: Go to the dining room for breakfast. It is a more civilized experience and the food is way better. You can get eggs any way you want them as opposed to the slushy eggs in the buffet. The french toast is double the size as the one they serve in the buffet. Everything in the dining room was hot and fresh. Trust me on this one! We only ate in one speciality restaurant "Chops". We paid an up-charge of $39.00 per person and the food was pretty good. Tip: you can purchase some of the Chops items in the main dining room if you like. They are listed on the menu. Fellow Cruisers: We travelled on a holiday week, so there were lots of families. Large groups, couples and singles can all be found on this ship. I saw some comments in other reviews about cruisers from Puerto Rico. The ship leaves out of San Juan, so you will always have a large number of people that live local to the port of embarkation. I had absolutely no issues at all with cruisers from PR. People need to stop with the elitist nonsense. Yes, you will hear more Latin music than usual, but if you don't like it, go leave on a cruise from Anchorage. Ports: St. Thomas: Took a snorkeling excursion. The water was crystal clear, lots of fish, and a shipwreck. The crew was very professional and helpful. St Kitts: Snorkeling excursion to Nevis.....excellent. Stopped at a cove to snorkel for a while. The water was crystal clear....lots of fish. The crew was fun and the drinks were flowing once snorkeling was over. They give you about an hour on the beach in Nevis before sailing home. Curacao: Took a taxi to Mambo beach club. The beach was great. Bars restaurants are all there. Even comfort items like Starbucks,WIFI and Subway lol. Chairs, umbrellas and other shelters are all available to rent. Aruba: Took a taxi to Moomba beach club. Lots in the area to do, lots of comfort places around as well(Starbucks etc....). Chair rental was $5.00 Umbrella was $20 Water sports also available there to book. Tip: Bring towels!! Sometimes they are not available on the pier or on Deck 1, so go up to the pool to get them before you leave! Make sure they all come back because RC will charge you. Keep them in your bag, because towels had a tendency to go "missing" when people left them out. Some feedback for RC: The ship is VERY noisy. Music is always being blasted into your face. Live bands, dj, zumba guy, ice show. Everything was very loud and people were commenting on it. I'm fairly young and I hit the clubs quite a bit in my life, but this was too loud for me. Please dial it down a little bit so people don't lose their voices having to yell over it all day! If you have an 11-12 year old kid, they fall into void when it comes to the kids club. They wanted to put my 11...soon to be 12 year old daughter in a group that went up to 17. Not a good idea. I think you have enough kids on the ship where you can create a middle group for pre-teens. Get rid of the dopey videos on the TV screen. Nobody wants to watch people jumping off roofs and other nonsense all day. Maybe have a map up there with location info when it's not being used. You may also want to play music videos. Lastly, you need to show newer movies, not ones from 2 years ago! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
A group of 5 cruised in 2 cabins. In the cabin that held 3, 2 of them chose the beverage package. One of the cruisers has a medical condition that only allows her to drink water and almond milk...RCCL made her purchase a drink package ... Read More
A group of 5 cruised in 2 cabins. In the cabin that held 3, 2 of them chose the beverage package. One of the cruisers has a medical condition that only allows her to drink water and almond milk...RCCL made her purchase a drink package even when they were told about her condition. I think that they blew my respect for them...I'm a diamond plus person and have 3 upcoming cruises booked with them but under the circumstances, I think I'll start booking other cruise lines. The staff in the dining room was great, but the service was slower than usual. We did "hook" our reservation numbers together when booking (our 2 cabins) to request the same table, and verified it with the cruise line 1 week before sailing BUT we were not at the same table and had to wait in line with about 50 others with the same problem to get our table straightened out. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This was my 12th RC Cruise.. I am very loyal to Royal and I am currently suffering from cruise depression. For the most part, I had a great time. Food and Entertainment were off the charts AMAZING for me. We loved the game shows, contests, ... Read More
This was my 12th RC Cruise.. I am very loyal to Royal and I am currently suffering from cruise depression. For the most part, I had a great time. Food and Entertainment were off the charts AMAZING for me. We loved the game shows, contests, etc, and all of the cruise staff was very friendly. They were super personable and got to know us on a first name basis (especially if you participate, they will be buddies with you). I also was highly impressed with the food this time. In the past, the food was just average for me, but this time, I think they really stepped up their game in both the Windjammer and Main Dining Room. They had a really good variety each day. I did have some issues getting on board the ship. Apparently, they either had some faulty cards that would not scan OR their printer was not working correctly (I never really got a clear answer) and I had to stand to the side right after we boarded the ship so they could print me a new card. I was there for around 15 minutes, while others scanned in and got on the ship, I just stood there waiting. My boyfriend's card, who was literally right in front of me, worked just fine. They never came, so the lady told me to go to guest services to get a new one. At guest services, they were concerned that I must have gotten onto the ship somehow without going through security (?) and didn't believe my story.. Finally, the girl that was supposed to come bring me a new card came back and said it should be fine.. but low and behold, it didn't work at the Windjammer bar. I had to go back down AGAIN and get a new one printed. That was kind of a bummer on the first day, but no more issues after that. Other thoughts.. The bar service was horrible. This cruise had maybe 4 dozen kids, so the bar staff probably was not prepared for that many adults at all times at every venue. There were some times we had to wait 20 minutes for a drink (Imperial Lounge, Blue Moon, and Boleros were the worst.) Main dining room bar service was horrible also. We would be finished with appetizers before our drinks ever came. Cabin cleanliness.. Well, our cabin was refurbished with fresh carpet and a new chair, but it wasn't very clean. The bathroom had dark hairs in the shower, and there was a wine cork under the toilet area that was there when we arrived and sat there for 3 days before we threw it away.. I also NEVER met my stateroom attendant. lol. They just never introduced themselves and I never saw him cleaning - although my boyfriend did meet him, I thought it was strange he never introduced himself to me. PLEASE GO TO ALL OF THE GAMESHOWS. They are hilarious and definitely worth attending each night. We did not do any excursions this time. In St. Thomas, we went to the Mountain Top which was absolutely incredible. I would love to go again. Also, I noticed moreso on this cruise that the crew was going out of their way to sell on the first few days. Drink packages, specialty dining, etc, and they would come up to you while you were just sitting down enjoying a drink or walking past like mall kiosks do. That was pretty annoying, but it definitely calmed down after the first day. All in all, we LOVED this ship and plan to go back in 6 months for the New England/ Canada itinerary!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This was the first sailing since the ships drydock and the work done on the ship was obvious. You would never know the ship is almost eighteen years old. Most of the public areas were sparkling the cabins clearly had new carpet and ... Read More
This was the first sailing since the ships drydock and the work done on the ship was obvious. You would never know the ship is almost eighteen years old. Most of the public areas were sparkling the cabins clearly had new carpet and furnishings, and chairs and chaises across the ship and its decks were in excellent condition, if not clearly new. We also found the ship staff’s attention to detail excellent with regard to keeping it clean, never seeing garbage, spare plates or glasses lying around whether in the Windjammer where tables were cleared immediately or drink classes cleaned up right away on deck. This is in stark contrast to our previous trip on the Anthem which we found to be dirty overall and staff indifferent. Embarkation was a breeze, pulling up to the ship at 11am and getting right on and getting off at the end of the trip wasn’t much more difficult. From a crowd perspective, you never felt crowded, even at peak times in the Windjammer, or in the Royal Promendade, making this in excellent size ship. Dining room service and food was pretty good, certainly not gourmet but serviceable. Specialties Giovanni’s Table and Chops were enjoyable, just keep in mind desserts in Giovanni’s are brought out on a dessert cart and are not particularly fresh. Windjammer while spacious and clean, should have a whole lot more variety at breakfast and lunch aand the food was rarely hot. We’ve seen much better on other RCCL ships than this, especially given the limited options at those times around the ship. Other major complaint was the VOOM internet which was almost unusable on the ship despite the high price. Again, the slowest i’ve seen on their ships. That being said, we enjoyed ourselves, who wouldn’t when getting five days in the sun. Entertainment was better than we expected but with the Ice Show and the Headliners, both the comedian Mike Marino and Joel Mason. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
ONLINE CHECKIN: We used Royal Caribbean's online check-in and this is a must because it saves a great deal of time at the pier. Upon arrival at the pier all they need from you is your signed "Set Sail" agreement, where ... Read More
ONLINE CHECKIN: We used Royal Caribbean's online check-in and this is a must because it saves a great deal of time at the pier. Upon arrival at the pier all they need from you is your signed "Set Sail" agreement, where you agree to pay your ship account, take your photo, and a swipe of your credit card. Then you wait to board if its prior to 12:00 PM. EMBARKATION: The port at San Juan is about the worst embarkation we've ever encountered, and we've been through that port around 8 times, so we know the drill. There is NO ONE there to guide you in any way, you are on your own and the people handling bags are NOT Royal Caribbean employees so they just see people outside the building and don't care. It is your job to act in your own benefit and READING THE SIGNS IS A MUST. There is a line to drop off bags, another for those without bags, and one for high caliber cruisers who take lots of cruises and get perks. When in doubt, ask. No one will volunteer anything. THE SHIP: Adventure of the Seas is still a beautiful ship. It's been very tastefully decorated, far more so than Carnival ships, which tend to be gaudy & overbearing. The Royal Promenade is a great place to hang out having shops, bars, and a cafe with pizza & deserts (included in your cruise price). The pizza has degraded unfortunately. The ship however is looking tired and needs a trip to drydock for refurbishing. CHEAP ROOMS: In case you are not aware of this, cruise lines offer rooms VERY cheap at the last minute to keep cabins full. Be aware that cruise ships have relatively fixed costs (crew wage, food, beverages, etc) which don't change from week to week. Because of this the cruise industry maintains a business plan to fill rooms at almost literally any price, and after that they can then make their profit on excursions, booze, and gambling. HOWEVER - keep in mind this is usually only possible for locals who sometimes are ill mannered. You ALWAYS want to carefully consider the departure port for this reason AND cruise length. Generally the more expensive cruise have less problems with unruly passengers, and there certainly IS a cultural difference between people in the states and locals. DINING: Food is very good and most people typically eat lunch and breakfast at Windjammers on deck 11. Some choose the dining room instead. Breakfast at Windjammers tends to have some of the same items every day, but with many choices it shouldn't matter because you can't eat everything. Lunch tends to be similar also but they do vary some of the meats, fish, and sides. The deserts change daily and are good. The main dining room, which is 3 floors high with each having their own name, is excellent. For us service was very good and the food was great. Waiters work for tips so they highly motivated to please you. DINING ROOM DRESS: This is one major flaw in cruises and not due to the Royal Caribbean but rather very lax social standards. Many people don't understand the etiquette of dressing for dinner on cruises. There are 2 formal nights in which the majority of people actually dress in accordance. If you are the kind of person who refuses to dress up then I suggest having dinner at Windjammers Cafe on deck 11. Also, if you cannot get to dinner on time you should have dinner at Windjammers. It's informal and buffet style. When people refuse to dress properly in the dining room they disrespect their fellow passengers. When they refuse to arrive on time they disrespect the dining room staff and make life very difficult for them. If you need a reason why its because waiters typically have 3-4 tables they serve and it works much better if all tables are on the same schedule, which is to say serving starters at all tables, serving main courses at all tables, and not breaking up the rhythm due to diners coming in late, forcing wait staff off their schedule. This affects service at tables where guests did arrive on time. BEDS: Often reviewers talk about how bad the beds are, though our prior experiences were good. This time was the exception and the bed was poor. The mattress was hard as if something was place underneath to prevent sagging, a strategy we've seen used before. EXCURSIONS: We had planned on renting a car in St. Maatern as we've done in the past, and then drive to the French side and visit the town, market area, fort, and of course the airport. However, the cruise line advised against visiting the French side as it had not yet recovered adequately from the hurricane. Phillipsburg exhibited substantial damage, though many shops were open and vendors working hard to get customers to visit their shops. I'd estimate 30% of the shops were still closed. We used Shore Excursions Group on Bonaire and Curacao, purchased through Costco with a 10% discount. No matter what the source is, cruise line or excursions company, they all use local vendors. We have never had a bad experience through Shore Excursions Group. Most importantly you MUST return to the ship ON TIME and that is SHIP TIME. Cruise line excursions guarantee that. Most any vendor will be sensitive to that but remember you not America, you're on an island, and they live and exist on "island time" (code for very laid back, "don't worry, be happy"). ENTERTAINMENT: This is pretty subjective and depends upon your personal taste so that must be up front. There typically is a musical shows that is 'Broadway' and/or Las Vegas quality. Around the ship there are various other musicians and usually pretty good. As a former professional musician I can attest to the quality of singers, musicians, and dancers. Fortunately, the ice show was performed because the seas were not rough. ART AUCTIONS: Auctions are held on most cruises lines and most ships. I've sailed Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and Carnival, and Park West Galleries was the auctioneer on all of them. Park West has a checkered history of and is a lightning rod for complaints. Browse the Internet for details. We DO NOT purchase from Park West Galleries. DISEMBARKATION: People leave the ship in groups and you are provided with a group number, which they call for disembarkation. Cruise ships want you off the ship as quickly as possible so expect a knock at your door early to get you moving. This cruise required us to go through customs which took more time than without a customs inspection. LOCALS PASSENGERS AND CULTURE: When sailing out of San Juan you should be aware that a SUBSTANTIAL portion of the ship (perhaps most) are locals who booked passage for last minute cheap rooms. Reading these words may make you uncomfortable as if this is a racial matter, but its really a CULTURAL matter, and this cruise we did touch on this subject with several people from the states, more than we have on any past cruise. Often you will notice local groups (families) moving in squad and platoon sized groups which can make people feel very uncomfortable, overwhelming people nearby, and they were often inconsiderate of others and rather rude like they didn't know how to act in public. Here are some of the problems encountered: * Teenagers were at times unsupervised by parents and unruly. * Children running the hallways and yelling. * Some sat on and stood around stairwells blocking them. * Walked into elevators without letting people off first and you were shoved in by a large group who insisted they all get on the elevator. * People shoving into lines, being inconsiderate of those in line. * Very loud in hallways at night, sometimes yelling. I'm sure citizens of Puerto Rico will view these as "whats the big deal?" but to Americans from states and Europeans this was a violation of civility. At this point we likely will NEVER sail out of San Juan again, not just the cultural issue but embarkation as well. BTW forget about people who take just one cruise and then tell you not to complain. Rookies lack perspective. OVERALL CONCLUSION: Royal Caribbean is still a good cruise line but it is highly unlikely we will ever sail out of Puerto Rico again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
My wife and I chose this ship on a recommendation from friends and decided to take a cruise after our wedding. The ship was well taken care-of and the staff seemed exceptionally friendly for first time cruisers. Although the boat amenities ... Read More
My wife and I chose this ship on a recommendation from friends and decided to take a cruise after our wedding. The ship was well taken care-of and the staff seemed exceptionally friendly for first time cruisers. Although the boat amenities were great, the island stops remain the highlight of our cruise! St. Maarten and a few others were great and the food was exceptional everywhere, but admittedly St. Kitts was our favorite! My parents have vacationed in St. Kitts before and they recommended a local tour guide that had just set up a tour company, called Pan Dulce Tours St. Kitts. Javed, the owner/operator, was our guide and the afternoon with him was perfect. He took us to a few of the historic sites like Brimstone Hill and Caribelle Batik but included a stop at a local restaurant upon request too! Our only regret was that we had to leave at the end of the day. Javed was informative and friendly and made the memorable experience the one that it was! I would highly recommend him to anyone visiting the island, though now that his business in open and advertising you may need to reserve in advance! Overall, our cruise experience was memorable and we did enjoy cruising with Royal Caribbean. We were new to cruising and would be open to the right itinerary in the future again! It was fun waking up in different locations and the experience was new and exciting! Some of the excursions and experiences feel unique and private but my wife and I will avoid the massive ships and port calls as they feel a bit touristy and they start to look alike after a few days/stops. We are very interested in small boat cruising and will likely try that next! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose this Christmas cruise as our company closes over the Christmas period and this was one of the destinations available. Overall we had a wonderful time. Our stateroom was lovely and spacious. Food choice was amazing and alcohol ... Read More
We chose this Christmas cruise as our company closes over the Christmas period and this was one of the destinations available. Overall we had a wonderful time. Our stateroom was lovely and spacious. Food choice was amazing and alcohol served were top brands. Ship was very clean indeed and we were constantly encouraged to wash our hands to stop infections. Also numerous anti bacterial hand gel stations. Embarkation was smooth considering how many people boarded the boat. We were encouraged to go and eat lunch while we waited for our luggage, overall it took three hours to arrive at our cabin. One suitcase was held back as it contained a travel iron from an earlier portion of our journey. This was conviscated and I was able to collect it on disembarkation. We had to leave our luggage out for collection at 11pm the day before departure. Labels were provided to attach to the suitcase so you knew exactly what zone to collect it from. Very straight forward. Numerous tours available at each port both by Royal Caribbean and independant operators. We sampled both and found the independant ones better value. We did not book them in advance either, but be warned they only accept cash. I was unable to use my own internet throughout the whole cruise and had my suspicions confirmed that they block your service so you have to purchase Royal Caribbeans service, which I think is an outrage. I would like to see Royal Caribbean stop the promotion of animals kept in captivity for the enjoyment of the tourist industy i.e. the dolphin push. If it were a conservation project or breeding program I would have no objections, but this was needless crulity.. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
++ Great Itinerary and ports of call Great cuisine on dinners a la carte, many options in windjammer restaurant Great service and staff Nice attractions on ship like ice rink and flow rider, there was time for everything ... Read More
++ Great Itinerary and ports of call Great cuisine on dinners a la carte, many options in windjammer restaurant Great service and staff Nice attractions on ship like ice rink and flow rider, there was time for everything Excursions were very good organized Ship is in a very good condition, very comfortable Traveled with 1 year old baby, everything was great and suitable, staff was very attentive - - All shows with dancers and singers are similar Cabin need to be refurbished in bathroom area Balcony and crystals were dirty all time Disembarkation was a mess, everyone had to go down by stairs (they didn't allow us to use elevator even when we had baby stroller), lines on customs (just 3-4 officers for 3000 people) Great trip and great experience overall, would be back on this ship if happened. And definitely would be back on some of the islands again! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose this cruise because it went to Aruba and Curacao. These islands are fantastic. Unfortunately, Puerto Rico and St.Thomas are not up to par as of December 1 2017. St.Kitts was the 4th stop and the hurricane damage was less notable. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it went to Aruba and Curacao. These islands are fantastic. Unfortunately, Puerto Rico and St.Thomas are not up to par as of December 1 2017. St.Kitts was the 4th stop and the hurricane damage was less notable. The Adventure OTS has dated decor and the entertainment variety was unimpressive (aside from the ice show). This level of entertainment is something I would expect on Carnival or Norwegian but I hold RCI to a higher standard. A new change I noticed was the "service charge" on every drink. Effectively a tip, the service charge is 18 or 20% on top of the list price. In the past it was listed as a tip and there was a line for "additional tip" the change in wording suggests the service charge is not a tip. Although, all the bartenders will acknowledge that it is a shared tip. Enforcing this service charge is extremely annoying and makes the total cost of a $7 beer near $10 after you provide a true tip in addition to the service charge. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This cruise appealed to us because of it's intense port itinerary... and we were not disappointed! At first, we were a bit skeptical (we wanted to relax too of course!) bc of the limited number of sea days, but that was definitely not ... Read More
This cruise appealed to us because of it's intense port itinerary... and we were not disappointed! At first, we were a bit skeptical (we wanted to relax too of course!) bc of the limited number of sea days, but that was definitely not an issue. We've taken a lot of cruises and this was - hands down in our top 2/3. My husband and I (in our 30s) went with my parents... were there a lot of kids? Yes (the pools were always super crowded). Did they do a good job of making sure the kids/ teens were not running around the adult areas and after curfew? Not at all... the cruise people didn't seem to care... but all in all that was not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. We did not get a chance to explore San Juan before embarkation - nor when we returned... there just was not enough time in our own schedules... however, we got the RC transfer from the airport to the port and to be honest, it was pretty chaotic and unorganized. Checking in was also a mess and took a LONG time! Our check in person was not helpful and was actually wrong about a few things... so it did not start that well. But once onboard, we were happy with the rest of the cruise. (And debarkation was a breeze!) We did not get our bags until late at night, but our cabin (balcony) was spacious enough and our stateroom attendant was very helpful. The cruise was catered to its main clientele as I was told - so mostly those from PR, so there was a lot of Spanish influence - in music, food and of course all shows and cruise info talks were in both languages. (A good way for me to practice my very elementary Spanish-speaking skills! :) ) A few of us did ask the DJ, on the last two nights, to play some more mixed music but he said bc of the demographics of the cruise, he was only going to play a few English songs and that was it... but no biggie! There were a TON of events so after getting back onboard, it was sometimes hard to find the time to get ready for dinner, attend all the shows and still find time to make it to the pool/ do a few activities. Because of the intense show/activity schedule and port itinerary, we ended up switching to My Time dining so we didn't miss any of the adult gameshows, C&A events, etc. To be honest, if you were at an excursion all day, there is the possibility that you could miss one of the fun events on the ship... so take that into consideration if you go on this cruise! Below are some of the shows and activities onboard: Welcome Aboard Show - good Invitation to Dance - been to this a few times on different RC ships, stopped going - our least favorite show, just ballroom dancing Battle of the Sexes/ Majority Wins/ Quest/ Love and Marriage - decent Adult Comedian (2 different ones) - first one was hilarious, second one okay Silent Disco - cool concept Jackpot - no story line, just songs and dances from movies Adele (no not the real one!) - my favorite show hands down... the singer was really really really good Cool Art, Hot Ice - decent Hypnosis Show - eh... Speaking of dining - hands down the best dining staff we've had on a cruise... Sachin and Shandy were our MTD waiters and they were FANTASTIC. We actually ended up requesting them for the rest of the cruise and the two Marius' (head dining staff) helped make sure that was possible. They were extremely friendly, accommodating and efficient. The cruise had one change in port itinerary due to the recent hurricanes - so instead of going to St. Maarten, we ended up going to Martinique. San Juan - no cruise excursion taken either way; only Old San Juan was offered the day we returned... I think they should also include an excursion of the Bacardi Factory or downtown... we ended up waiting for hours at the airport (delayed flight and then we couldn't check in our bags for a while, etc... just a heads up re: SJU!). St. Kitts/ Nevis - no excursion taken there, just walked around the port... nothing new or special; a lot of tourist shops, one bar in the middle, whatever Antigua - didn't walk around the port bc of our excursion, but our excursion was awesome!!! probably my favorite... we did the Fan-Ta-Sea... a luxury catamaran to one of the 365/366 beaches Antigua has... the beach looked small but with the amount of people on the catamaran, it was perfect. The water was BEAUTIFUL... and there was an optional guided snorkeling tour (all equipment provided)... towards the end, they put out lunch for everyone and provided drinks (alcoholic and non) for the rest of the day. The way back was very entertaining with music and interaction from all of the catamaran staff- and great service! Martinique - no excursion taken, walked around the port - nothing really to see or do... you can tell it's a second-thought stop (understandably so)... they had tents with expensive souvenirs set up... we ended up spending maybe 10 minutes and then went back and enjoyed the ship's amenities St. Lucia - took the Mud Bath experience excursion... it was a guided bus tour; a few stops to check out the view here and there and a 1.5-2 hour journey to the Pitons/ volcanoes. Got to the mud bath spot with all of the other tours. Basically you get in the small pool to clean yourself, walk to the buckets of volcanic ash/ mud... put that on and wait a while and then get back in the pool to clean yourself. We were given 20 minutes here and then drove for lunch (same spot for other tours too) at Beacon Restaurant... lots of stray cats begging for food... good view of the Pitons though, drove back to the ship. Barbados - we wanted to spend more time on the ship bc we didn't want to miss out on the pool shows/ Belly Flop and other activities, so we did a 3 hour Barbados Highlights tour... not bad, had a few stops and returned to the ship. Spa - all had spa treatments... I was not satisfied with the service nor privacy of my massage therapist/ room - but Guest Services helped out post treatment to make up for the bad service. Would I go again on this cruise? Yes - we are actually thinking about the taking the Adventure again but to Aruba and Curacao! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We chose this cruise because of the ports of call, leaving from San Juan gave us more options to hit more islands at the south end in a one week sailing. We really loved the boat overall, the promenade level was our type of thing. Boat ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the ports of call, leaving from San Juan gave us more options to hit more islands at the south end in a one week sailing. We really loved the boat overall, the promenade level was our type of thing. Boat is a bit worn, shows its age a bit in places. Was not a fan of what seemed like local people to fill the ship, that had got great deals to fill the boat. To find out we had booked long before, our value didn't compare. Overall loved the size of the boat, and activities on board and overall service. Only complaint about drinks was the consistency of getting one made bar to bar. Seems small, but when your there to enjoy that part of it, then it does. We had damage to our luggage, and the staff dealt with it more then fair. The way we departed the boat was not a great event in our opinion, and has to be a better way. We will not sail again from Puerto Rico as there are far to many disadvantages to weigh out then advantages. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Adventure of the Seas 11/18/17 San Juan, St. Kitts, Martinique, Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, San Juan Great cruise from a disaster area with friends I want to first start by praising Royal and panning them. I want to praise ... Read More
Adventure of the Seas 11/18/17 San Juan, St. Kitts, Martinique, Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, San Juan Great cruise from a disaster area with friends I want to first start by praising Royal and panning them. I want to praise Royal for all the runs they made to bring emergency supplies to the Caribbean and getting stranded people home. I want to pan them for believing that Puerto Rico is anywhere near ready to accept vacationers. Puerto Rico needs emergency support and even though both the federal and island government has been near incompetent with the response does not mean Royal should encourage vacationers to fly to the island that has been declared a disaster area and use valuable resources the people need. Since we had multiple hotel reservations canceled, we were forced to fly from Kansas City to San Juan on the day of the cruise departure and fly home on the day of cruise return. This made our vacation seem very short. Getting on the ship at 3 pm departure day in San Juan feels like you missed a whole day of the cruise. One of our friends traveling from Chicago had flight delays and got on the ship at 7 pm just as the gates were closing. We were in a balcony cabin 8254. The previous 4 cruises we had a Jr. Suite. The balcony felt small but was nice and had the Pullman bed for our daughter. Our cabin steward was great but something happened that we were unaware of and she was replaced on day 5. We were sorry not to be able to thank her before we departed the ship. Royal Miami messed up our dinner reservations. We had scheduled late traditional seating and linked our reservations with 2 other families to have a table together. We had confirmed this with RCLDinning 2 weeks before departure. When we got on the ship one of our friends had been placed in early seating. No one in the dining room or guest services was really willing to make a change until we latterly refused to sit at a table for 6 in the dining room full of empty tables of 8 and 10 (there were 8 of us). Finally the maître de came to his senses and said here take this empty table of 8. Even with the frustration of the first night we had the most wonderful time at dinner every night. Our waiter was Halyna Davyoska and our assistant waiter was Ridhatus Alfini (Ceta). They gave us amazing service. The first night my 13 yo diamond daughter looked for the cheese rolls and there were none. Every night thereafter, Ceta had a plate of warm cheese rolls at her spot on the table. We were on the Liberty in March and on that cruise the MDR food hit a new low. I have to say that on this cruise on Adventure, the MDR food was outstanding and better than we have had in several years. Baked Alaska was really baked, mushroom pastry was really a pastry, and the cherries jubilee was at least warm cherries jubilee, I know you can’t have fire on the ship anymore, sure miss the real cherries jubilee. As amazing as Halyna and Ceta were, it was obvious that they had to really rush to stay up with all their tables’ dinner service. Ceta worked hard to keep our drinks filled. It would have been nice to see a bar waiter sometime. Ceta and Halyna gave us excellent wine service. They changed our glasses with each new bottle of wine. Nicholai our head waiter did provide assistance to Ceta and Halyna but he was also pressed to take care of his section. I can’t say enough about how well we were treated. Royal does need to provide more staff in the MDR in my opinion. The singers and dancers on the ship were great. We really enjoyed the production shows. We were not impressed by the cruise director. My 13 year old daughter never received any teen cruise compass or invitations to any functions. Our first stop was St. Kitts. We have made a friend of Veronica who owns a taxi and we always use her on St. Kitts for taxi service. We chartered Captain Miles of Nevis Yacht Charters for a half day sail out of Reggae Beach Bar. As always, Captain Miles provided us with a great sail and snorkel between St. Kitts and Nevis. Service at Reggae Beach Bar was great, food was just ok. On Antigua with hired taxi drive Nikki Mélange to give us a tour of the island then drop us at a beach for 3 hours ($25/pp). She did an outstanding job. She picked Church Beach and it was great chairs and umbrellas for 6 were $35. On Martinique we took the ferry to a beach. The cost was $7 round trip. At the beach bar we found a wonderful Grenache Rose for only $6 a glass. We had no trouble paying with dollars. We did not get any euros. They do speak French and we did have a little trouble with communication. On St. Lucia we did a two tank dive with Scuba Steve. The boat took us on about a 30 minute ride to the Bay of Pigs. My wife and daughter were able to snorkel and enjoy a beach while my friends and I did our two tank dive on two reefs. The dives were great and Scuba Steve treated us very well. After the morning dives we had a light lunch at Brown Sugar Restaurant. The food was great and the price for an island was very reasonable. On Barbados we went to Rockley Beach Park also called Accra Beach. This is our favorite beach in the Caribbean. Most of the cruisers go to the Boatyard. There are several beach bars and nice facilities and Rockley beach and there are no crowds. Chairs and umbrellas for 9 cost only $30. Once we got on the ship the cruise was wonderful. Since it was so port intensive, we did not use the diamond lounge much or participate in many ship board activities beyond a couple of shows and just hanging at the pool on the last sea day. Having to fly in the day the cruise left and fly out the day we got back to port made the 7 day cruise feel like a 3 day cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Had enjoyed previous cruise on RC, so we went back to that line this trip. This trip, the ship was crowded and loud all the time. Loud music played constantly on the main outside deck (11), hard to find any peace and quiet on deck. ... Read More
Had enjoyed previous cruise on RC, so we went back to that line this trip. This trip, the ship was crowded and loud all the time. Loud music played constantly on the main outside deck (11), hard to find any peace and quiet on deck. Reminded us of a Carnival party cruise. RC seems to have added smoking areas on the ship, and don't enforce their no smoking policies in other areas on deck. Staff and crew on the ship were great, very friendly and attentive. Dinner in Chops Grille was excellent. Dinner in the main dinning rooms was good to very good. The ports on this trip were also very nice and the cruise had sufficient time in each of them. On disembarking back in San Juan, both of our pieces of luggage were initially lost. One bag was found after an hour search with the bag tag torn. Obviously, a crew member had tried to lift the bag by the tag, and the numbered section ripped off. The other bag was grabbed by a pier porter and transported with someone else's luggage to the airport. According to the staff at the pier this happens with some regularity......... Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and because we were one cruise away from becoming Diamond level. We have cruised from Puerto Rico before and enjoy visiting San Juan. We were happy to see so many Puerto Ricans were able to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and because we were one cruise away from becoming Diamond level. We have cruised from Puerto Rico before and enjoy visiting San Juan. We were happy to see so many Puerto Ricans were able to join us on the cruise and enjoy themselves after what they have been through with the hurricanes this fall. All in all, we were satisfied with the cruise and I would recommend the boat and itinerary to others. We normally choose Royal Caribbean because it suits our preference for types of activities, the design of the boats themselves, the type of customers it attracts and the quality of service. This time however, we noticed a number of things: the service during my time dining was not great, the boat was in need of maintenance and repair and the quality of the food had deteriorated over what we have experienced on other cruises. The fitness room had broken down machines and there were no more free stretch classes. For the most part the staff were very friendly, especially our room steward, the staff in the buffet and the cleaning staff around the boat. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This is our 7th Royal Caribbean cruise and our second time on this particular ship. We chose this itinerary because we love the Southern Caribbean and find that flying in and out of Puerto Rico is rather easy for us. I was initially ... Read More
This is our 7th Royal Caribbean cruise and our second time on this particular ship. We chose this itinerary because we love the Southern Caribbean and find that flying in and out of Puerto Rico is rather easy for us. I was initially worried about getting in and out of Puerto Rico after the hurricane, but it went very smoothly aside from a change in our flight time leaving much later than originally planned. We decided to purchase RC transportation about a week before our travel because we did not know if Taxi's were running etc. This was much more of a hassle than it was worth. Very disorganized trying to get to the ship, long lines with really no direction and it was confusing about who was doing what. Our luggage did not travel with us, it was placed on a separate truck to be delivered to the ship. As we departed on the bus our luggage appeared to be sitting there with all the rest of the bags that belonged to folks on our bus, but no one seemed to be with them. I could be mistaken but it was a little unnerving. Our luggage did get to our cabin by the promised time so in the end there were no issues. Leaving the ship was also quite chaotic. Long lines at customs, we finally decided to grab a porter that brought us to a separate line, we tipped him ten bucks and it saved us at least 2 hours standing there. Again we got on a bus to take us to the airport, and our luggage went in a separate truck. We waited at the airport in another long line with no real direction. We all lined up along the sidewalk, while the luggage trucks pulled up and the employees lined up the luggage and then you were able to approach the area in a type of free for all to get your bags so you could go through the airport and check in. The worst part was that they left the trucks running, so we were all standing there for at least a half hour breathing in the fumes of the trucks. For a place that is struggling right now with supplies and fuel, I was shocked at the waste of gas. The cruise itself was good, we decided to go on a few excursions from the ship this time. Lots of waiting in lines again. Between the ship transportation and the excursions, we have decided to pretty much go off on our own for our future cruises and take Taxi's from the airport and back. Islands: We did not get off the ship for St. Kitts, we went to the spa ( I won one of the spa raffles) and we had a wonderful couples hot stone massage for 75 minutes. Of course it was followed by the selling of products but we politely declined and then sat by the pool in the Solarium. Antigua we did the Beach Extravaganza to Frye Beach that included chairs, umbrella and a great lunch. We have done this one before and it is very clean and relaxing. There is a small restaurant with public bathrooms and changing facilities. There were some ladies trying to sell hand made items but they were pleasant and did not seem to harass the patrons. St Lucia was a big disappointment. We chose the Marigot Bay on Your Own excursion that was a combination of swimming and shopping, but the description was very vague. Our tour guide was very good but she warned us that there would be folks trying to sell us items. That was an understatement. First, the area was very pretty,and there was a short boat ride across the lagoon, but the $14 we paid for beach chairs did not include an umbrella. Many folks, including us, were looking for one and it was a scramble to try and find the few they had. This area was a cove where people park their yachts etc and it abutted a resort, which signs said we could not go to but the tour guide said we could so that was confusing. The second we got there the badgering started with when did we want our rum punch, and here are the items we want you to buy. It was relentless. We understand this is how many folks make a living, but we spent good money to take a vacation away from our busy work lives to relax and this wasn't cutting it. We did not put our bathing suits prior to going,so while a very nice older male was trying to makeshift a broken umbrella into a functioning one by tying it to a palm tree for another $5, one of the pushy "helpers" walked my husband to a shabby changing area. He told him that he would hold the broken door closed for a dollar while he changed, all the while two other "helper" men were hanging out smoking weed. My husband returned back to our chair area and said we were leaving. These "helper" men kept surrounding us as well as the other folks on our excursion. I had our tour guide call us a Taxi and we were out of there within 20 minutes of arriving. We lost money on the excursion and then the $30 to take the Taxi back to the ship. It was very uncomfortable having these guys constantly come up behind you. While we were waiting for the boat to take us to the other side to get the Taxi, two of the men were having a disagreement and one called the other the F word and a racist slang word, just awful experience. We complained at the Shore Excursion desk and they took our cabin # but we did not see a refund and quite frankly they did not have much to say about it. Barbados we went on a rum distillery tour. Lots of fun and did some taste testing. After that we went on a small tour of the island. After a day of sailing we went to St Thomas which was a replacement stop for St. Martin. The port shopping area was ready for visitors, clean, no damage and they had power. One of the shop owners told us that only 25% of the island had power. We could see some of the damaged buildings from the ship but we did not venture far this stop other than the port shops so we didn't get a first glance at the damage. Our cabin was clean, food was good, Windjammer food was better than past cruises. Casino was super smokey. People seemed to be using it as an excuse to be able to smoke indoors. The smoke spread to other areas including the Schooner Bar which was behind it. I hate smoke so it bothered me that I could smell it in other areas inside the ship. I personally would like to see cruise lines go totally smoke free. We tried Giovanni's Table for a specialty restaurant, it was excellent and we highly recommend trying it. We did not go to any shows this time. Staff for our cabin and in the dining room were great and bartenders worked hard and were very pleasant. Solarium pool is really small and was crowded most of the time. The ship just had a refurbishment which was very noticeable in some areas while some areas still looked tired and needed a little TLC, but overall it was a very clean ship. We went to NextCruise staff to book our next trip back to the Southern Caribbean on the Freedom in 2019. (The Freedom is our favorite ship of all). It does seem that the cruise industry is nickel and diming more and more, while some of the perks that used to be the driving force for keeping customers is starting to fade. We will continue to cruise as we find it an easy vacation and can make it as busy or as relaxed as we want it to be. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We chose this cruise for the ports of call. It is a southern Caribbean itinerary going to some islands we had not been to before. We looked forward to going back to St. Maarten, but unfortunately were not able to because of the hurricane ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports of call. It is a southern Caribbean itinerary going to some islands we had not been to before. We looked forward to going back to St. Maarten, but unfortunately were not able to because of the hurricane damage. Royal Caribbean did a great job of communicating changes in itinerary and waited long enough to make a decision before changing something too soon, but not too long that wondering if you were still going to be going on the cruise and/or to which islands. I have been on one other cruise before and we had some sailing days in between stops. It felt like a nice balance of time in the ports and time to enjoy the ship and all that it had to offer. With this cruise and an itinerary packed with 5 islands in 6 days, it is tough to enjoy all aspects of the ship and spend time on the islands on excursions/shopping/etc. I didn't feel relaxed when the cruise was done because of feeling like we needed to take advantage of all the beautiful islands we visited. We booked a balcony room this time around. Last cruise we did an interior overlooking the promenade on Independence of the Seas. Had we had more cruising days to make use of the balcony, I think it would have been worth the extra money to have that space to sit out and read a book, relax or whatever having the sea in the background. But we hardly spent any time in the room with everything to do on ship and in port. My opinion, but I don't know that anything above an interior room is worth the extra money on a cruise. You need the room for sleeping, showering and that's about it. Ports of Call: San Juan - it felt disorganized from the time we landed. I am not sure what normal is or how much recovery efforts are still impacting operations on the island, but did not feel organized. Everyone seemed to be in panic mode like they were on a fire drill. With nothing really open on the island, it was straight from the airport to the ship. St. Kitts - Monkeys, monkeys and more monkeys. As soon as you port and walk into the main area, there are many people that will offer to put a monkey on your shoulder. Be prepared to pay to take it off your shoulder. As long as you are polite, say no thank you and keep moving, they leave you alone. We did the ATV and beach break excursion. The ATV riding was a lot of fun going up the mountain side. This offers some great picture opportunities of Basseterre. The tour guides are knowledgeable of the island and make riding at slower speeds fun while keeping things safe. The beach area was nice and relaxing and had a few restaurants/bars to get a bit to eat. We weren't there very long but was a nice area. Antigua - This island was the one we were most excited about visiting. We signed up for the Beach Extravaganza excursion. I am not sure the tour group was ready for the large crowd coming their way. We were about 10 minutes early to our meeting time and ended up standing on the pier in direct sun for at least 20 minutes after the meeting time. Then when we walked down to the bus depot area, we waited around there for another 10 minutes until we could get on a bus and head to the beach. Once we got there, the beach area was beautiful. Calm, clear waters and they had an area to snorkel around the rocks. They had some locals selling jewelry and other hand made items; not pushy at all and were friendly. The lunch they had was very good and the rum punch was really strong. Overall, we enjoyed our time on this excursion but the transportation to and from the beach was not very good. Barbados - We did the Jolly Roger cruise and snorkel and had a great time! I highly recommend this excursion. Please note that there is no rope swing even though it is in the excursion description. The pirate ship had a bit of damage from the swing and have taken it off to prevent it from happening again. They gave two options for lunch, buffet or a burger. The burger was sufficient and also much cheaper than the buffet. They had a wide variety of drinks (included). We stopped at one snorkel spot and ended up being with three other boats from resorts. The spot was great, but very crowded in the water. Imagine the scene at the end of the Titanic movie crowded in the water. At the second stop, it was time to just swim around and walk the plank which was also a lot of fun. Once we get back, my wife and I walked into Bridgetown (maybe a little over a mile walk) and did some shopping. It was a nice walk into town along the coast. St. Lucia - Marigot Bay excursion. I would not recommend this. The description and pictures on Royal Caribbean website are a bit misleading. It is a small area and only had about 2 shops, 2 restaurants and a beach about 50 yards long. It is a beautiful area, but on the beach side, you get bombarded by the locals to buy their food, drink and whatever else they were selling. My wife and I wanted to go on this as a relaxing excursion in a nice "French town" but was not that at all. We said "no thank you" to the vendors at least once every 5 minutes and couldn't wait to leave. St. Thomas - we were the first ship back to the island after the hurricanes and the people were so excited to have us back. I had never been to the island before but you could tell exactly where the damage was. Magen's Bay took a beating but they were open and welcomed us back with limited food and drink options, steel drum band and of course the iconic beach. The palm trees in this area got hit very hard and the storm surge went back up into the hill side. I would love to go back and see more of the island in a few months after they have had time to recover some more. Having cruise ships returning to the island will help their economy and rebuild. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
I choose this cruise to experience different islands. This ship is my 2nd time onboard. The ship is starting to show its age. Almost all of the staff were friendly except for the stateroom attendant. She was a debbie downer, constantly ... Read More
I choose this cruise to experience different islands. This ship is my 2nd time onboard. The ship is starting to show its age. Almost all of the staff were friendly except for the stateroom attendant. She was a debbie downer, constantly rushing us in our room to get out. she would not even acknowledge us or say hello ,good morning or anything other than how long will you be in our room. moving on the Dining Room and attendants were great. We had Domingo he always went above and beyond to make our experience perfect. The bar service was easy to attend and get drinks quickly. Getting on and off the ship was smooth all the way around. The only other downfall was to fill the ship alot of LOCAL families and kids everywhere and rude. I will continue to cruise for sure but will not leave from San Juan again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We booked this cruise last June and wasn't sure if we were going to still go due to the changing of the flights and hotels in San Juan after Maria, but glad we did. The ship had one of the best designs I have seen (have been on over ... Read More
We booked this cruise last June and wasn't sure if we were going to still go due to the changing of the flights and hotels in San Juan after Maria, but glad we did. The ship had one of the best designs I have seen (have been on over 10 cruises with over 5 different cruise lines) - with the promenade down the middle of the 5th floor with shops and bars on either side making you feel like you were on a street somewhere. Although it carried 3000+ guests plus staff, you rarely felt that way - except at the pool on the one day at sea. The rooms and balconies were on the smaller side but there was plenty of storage space for 2-3 people. We had interconnecting cabins which were wonderful. I was disappointed that the balconies could not connect as they did on the Royal Princess that we had just taken to Europe. The balconies were private but were surrounded by metal on all sides, giving more of an enclosed feeling.. the table and two chairs barely fit in the area provided; however, we did take advantage of the view! We specifically booked this ship for the itinerary and the ice skating rink. My 13 YO daughter is a figure skater and was so impressed with the ice skating show as the skaters all come with exceptional credentials. She skated the first public ice session, but since most were beginners and you had to wear helmets, we decided to book private lessons instead. Martin was our instructor twice and he was excellent. He helped her on two of her double jumps and was very pleasant and funny about it, giving her great advice... and it was only $75 ($25 for the rink and $50 for the instructor) for an hour. Her regular coach charges $50 for a 1/2 hour plus ice time... so it was a great deal. The food was very good in the main dining room, especially for breakfast where they had wait service and an upscale buffet, but I would skip the Chops Grille. It was far from worth it for the price unless you have it as a promotion. I have been to the specialty restaurants on many ships and although our family members seemed to like the filet mignon, the lamb chops were less than impressive. And then they wanted to charge more for lobster at the restaurant ($20-25 + 18% tip), which was criminal after paying $35 + 18% tip for the restaurant. In addition, the waiter asked for a further tip above the 18%, explaining that the 18% was given to the kitchen so any additional would just go to him. I honestly felt pressured to give him extra, and luckily I did since I saw him the next day getting off the boat at St. Thomas. I know they work hard, but I regret going to the specialty restaurant as the food the next night in the main dining room (lamb chops) was actually better and would have saved me $200+. You also have the option of adding lobster or filet mignon in the main dining room - but be careful about getting the lobster. My father got the 1-1/4-1/12 lb lobster for the extra $31 + 18% tip and it barely looked like one pound. The claws had been taken out for him, but only the large piece was included and then remains of the body was split in half. It just didn't seem to be much meat. The itinerary was excellent, visiting many beautiful islands including Barbados, St. Kitts and St Lucia. We did the dolphin swim in St Kitts independently- but it was way over crowded with guests from the ship. We choose 10am since we were told that would be the least crowded and the opposite was true- the ship was also booked for the same time, while 12, 1 and 2pm were empty. I wish that the Dolphin Discovery place had told us that! So double check against the cruise offerings. We used Cosol Tours for St. Lucia and it was a fantastic trip with stops at the beach between the Pitons, the drive-in volcano, mud baths and waterfall. We started ahead of our scheduled 9:30am time and ended far later then the 5-6 hours.. it was more like 7 hours (9-4), but we got back in plenty of time before the boat left. Free drinks and island food was included- just amazing! Definitely worth the $75pp. St. Thomas was the last stop and was substituted for St. Maarten due to the damage from the hurricanes. I know that many were disappointed since St. Thomas is on almost every itinerary and guests were anxious to go to a different island, but RC made up for it. We went to Magens Bay and you could see the damage to the power/telephone lines and houses along the way and there was little shade at the beach from the damaged trees. However, this was the day of the re-opening and brand new chairs and umbrellas were delivered, to our delight. As an added surprise, RC footed the bill for lunch (burgers, hotdogs, chicken, sandwiches, drinks) and had entertainers (dancers and musicians). It was a beautiful day with a few showers that no one seemed to mind. Most of the shops downtown and by the dock had also reopened. I would definitely recommend this cruise and ship. Even though it is older and showing some of it's age, the crew was really great and did whatever they could to make the trip enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
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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