991 Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas Cruise Reviews

Try and keep this short and sweet. Myself 42, wife 40, kids 9 and 10. What an awesome time. Ship is spectacular, food was great in all areas. Service was outstanding. Our Balcony room 9654 was a little tight for the 4 of us but ... Read More
Try and keep this short and sweet. Myself 42, wife 40, kids 9 and 10. What an awesome time. Ship is spectacular, food was great in all areas. Service was outstanding. Our Balcony room 9654 was a little tight for the 4 of us but definitely manageable. The balcony was great for catching sunrises and sunsets. Great place to relax and have a drink before dinner or after the kids were in bed. Embarkation: Got our bags at San Juan airport, grabbed a taxi and were on our way. We had our taxi driver stop so we could grab a six pack and some butts. Got to the cruise terminal and holy cow, the line snaked out the door, all the way down the side of the building, around the corner and went on forever. There was a rumor that the computers were down. Glad I grabbed a six pack to officially start the vacation while standing in line. Even though the line was huge, it moved reasonably fast and we got on the ship in about an hour. We did the St. Thomas route and planned on doing beach/snorkeling at each port with our 9 and 10 yr olds. The opinions of the snorkeling spots below are based on us being amateurs, first time for my kids outside of a pool snorkeling. St. Thomas, went to Coki beach. Beach and scenery were beautiful. Water was beautiful, crystal clear, fish everywhere, lots of coral pieces and shell fragments for the little ones to play with near the shoreline. Couple of places to get food and drinks and not too many beach vendors. This was by far out most favorite snorkeling stop of the 5 ports. Fish were in the water just waist deep but if you went over to the right side of the beach there were fish everywhere. Bring a couple of dog biscuits and they will swarm your hand. Don't forget your underwater camera like we did. Taxi from the pier was $25 each way with tip, 2 chairs were $10 for the day, we did not get an umbrella. St. Martin. We were originally going to go to the end of Orient beach where Pedros is because there is supposed to be a small reef area where you can snorkel. Taxi driver talked us into going to Dawn beach, said the snorkeling was better. The water was very cloudy at Dawn beach until you go out about 150 feet, a little far for our young ones. Once you got out there the visibility was a little better but the current was fairly strong and it took a little while to swim back in to shore. Only saw a handful of fish here and there. The beach itself is beautiful surrounded by timeshares and condos. There is a beach bar place with outdoor tables for lunch and drinks, can't remember the name but it looked cool and tropical. An umbrella and 2 chairs was $10 for the day. There was also a small shack to rent snorkel equipment and beach floats. Taxi was $25 with tip from the pier each way. Although it was a beautiful beach I would probably go somewhere else next time for snorkeling. Antigua. This was the only excursion we did. Went to Stingray city. We did the second excursion of the day. It's well organized. They bring you out to a fenced in area about a mile or so from shore. The water in the enclosed area varied from say 3 feet deep to about 10 feet. You get some decent interaction with the stingrays but it's all with the handlers who are guiding you along and pretty much holding them while you touch them. There is a small reef at the far end of the enclosure also where you can see some fish but it was pretty cloudy. Got a few pictures of stingrays underwater but I'm sure they'll end up being just shadows. We talked to some folks who did the first excursion of the day and they said the water was crystal clear so definitely go earlier if you can before the water is churned up. It was pretty fun and I'd do it again. They serve rum punch and regular punch at the end but it's only available for about 30 minutes until the pictures for you to purchase are ready. We did buy 4 pictures on a cd for $60, they were pretty cool. The excursion was $66 per person and they take you on a bus right from the pier. Went back to the pier and found this tropical looking little bar and had a couple of drinks while my daughters got their hair braided ($35 for her whole head, not too bad). St. Lucia. Unfortunately we needed a break from sun and beaches so we decided to just hang on the ship this day, did some of the activities on the ship and went to Johnny Rockets for lunch which was fun. Barbados. We went to Folkstone marine park. At first we felt a little out of place because when we got there it was all locals, the Barbados people are beautiful and very friendly but we almost felt like we were invading their turf. Folkstone doesn't have a very big beach but does have a beach area for swimming, the sitting area is up above the water line as most of the shoreline here is rock except for maybe a 100 foot beach. There are stairs that lead down into the water and another set of stairs that lead down to the beach. The park is setup with picnic tables and there are a couple of vendors selling shirts and stuff. They were also peddling tours in the park $40 per person to swim with the sea turtles, much cheaper than the ship's price. We decided to stay in the park and snorkel. The left side of water area in the park area is all rocks/reef. I never really saw any coral but more like rocks and rock type formations, it could have been coral but looked like rocks to me. Anyway, the water was kind of rough and with the rocks being only one or two feet down, they sent us over to the far right hand side of the enclosed water area to snorkel. Water was a little cloudy but saw a decent variety of fish. Later in the day the water over the left hand side of the reef calmed down and you only had to go 3 or 4 feet deep and there were fish everywhere. Lots of different varieties. The water was still a little rough and there were 2-3 foot swells but at least the breaking waves had stopped. The water here was still a little cloudy but decent enough that you could see what you wanted. On a good clear day this place would be awesome for inexperienced snorkelers like us 'cause once you were in the water all you had to do was put your head under and there were fish. Taxi $25 with tip each way. Carib beers at the little snack shack were $2, definitely worth going to again. Last day was on the ship, kids got to do the rock climbing wall and mini golf. Hung out at the pool and had a few drinks. Our kids didn't participate in the kids program at all but they weren't up our butts all the time either, we'd give them short time frames to go somewhere close or in the pool and then come back and check in with us. Food: We had breakfast in the Windjammer each day, good variety and good quality. Sometimes a little difficult to find a table though. The earlier you go the better. Lunch: We ate lunch off the ship on most days but would make it back toward the tail end of lunch. Always looked great and had a great variety, never really had much to eat on the ship at lunch besides maybe a sandwich or picky type food which was all good. Dinner: We totally enjoyed our dinner each night. Food was great and of comparable quality to what we had on the Carnival Glory in February. Our waiter and assistant were terrific. The head waiter even interacted with our table each night which was something different from our past experiences. The variety of food each night was different and interesting but not bizarre enough that you didn't want it. Entertainment: After being at the beach and swimming all day, the only show we made it to was the ice show, it was great. There was so much to do every night but we were usually tired and in bed by 10pm. Bar Bill: This was a real hotspot on this cruise for me. First day you could buy booze in the shop on board and bring it back to your room. I bought two bottles of rum for $9 per bottle for Parrot Bay and Bacardi orange. They also did charge me $9 PER bottle to bring it back to my room. My wife and I had a few drinks everyday and some nights after the kids were settled down in the room we'd hit the casino or just a bar for some drinks and dancing. Brought our two way radios with us and kept in touch with the kids. Our bill at the end of the cruise was $1100.00, about $200 for gifts the rest for booze and tips and we really didn't drink that much. Fancy drinks like a White Russian with tip were $9, vodka and cranberry were $7 plus tip. So in my opinion booze is very expensive. We only actually made one drink from the rum that I bought the first night, one of the bottles never even got opened. Disembarkation: They have everyone go to either the Blue Moon or Lyric Theatre to get ready to leave the ship. They tell you to be there at 8 but don't make announcements until 8:30. Once we were cleared by immigration at 8:30, they announced anyone with flights leaving up to 12:00 can get off. About 20 minutes later the next group goes, I think it was 12:00 to 2:00 flights. People who were not flying were asked to wait until all the flying passengers were off the ship. We were off in the first group. A small tip-- Wait at the top of the stairs to the Lyric theater, when they call your group, get in the line to the left to get off the ship. Once off the ships you have to go to customs, stay to the lines on the right if possible. We got shuffled to the line on the left where there was only one person working. There were 3 people working the line on the right which moved 10 times faster than our line it seemed. Took us about 45 minutes to get through customs. Once through customs, went into the warehouse and miraculously found our bags in just a couple of minutes. Got our bags, went outside, got a taxi and were off to the airport (about $25 with tip depending on how many bags). Got to the airport about 9:30, it was pretty quiet. Got our bags checked with USAir, we were 5th in line, went to security, about 10th in line, got through that and were at our gate at 9:50. About 30 minutes later all hell broke loose, security line was hundreds of people long and the check-in counters were jammed with long lines. Must be once all the busses arrive. So even though we had a couple of hours to kill, it was worth getting there early just to not have the long line stress levels. There were a few gift shops and snack places in the terminal so at least you could do something. There was a bar in the terminal but it didn't open until 11:00 and by twelve the line was out the door so go early if you want a drink. Our flight got delayed twice and had three gate changes so make sure you keep up with what's going on with your flight if you can. Overall: Terrific time, beautiful ship, Caribbean was smooth as glass, hardly ever felt the ship move. AC in the room worked great. Water was always a brownish color though but I drank it anyway. We loved being able to check out the different ports but it leaves you tired after 2 or 3 days. I remember reading about public buses and stuff to get you around on the islands but we never had enough knowledge or felt comfortable enough to use them so ended up using taxis. We probably spent about $100-$150 per day by the time we were done with taxis, beach chairs, gifts, couple of drinks and lunch or snacks. If I could go on this itinerary again I would say yes faster than you could get the question out of your mouth. Read Less
Sail Date October 2004
Let me begin by giving you a little background. I am 43 years old and this was my 12th cruise (4th with RCI). DW (40) and I did this one alone. Since this is my review, most of the observations will be from my perspective, so you will find ... Read More
Let me begin by giving you a little background. I am 43 years old and this was my 12th cruise (4th with RCI). DW (40) and I did this one alone. Since this is my review, most of the observations will be from my perspective, so you will find me bouncing between we and I in the details that follow. We had early seating (6:00) in the Mozart dining room at a table for 2. I am one of the few (on this board) who choose to fly in on the day the cruise sails. Out of 12 cruises, I have only gone in early twice (New Orleans & Hawaii) for pre cruise tours and activities. My cruise began on Saturday, November 20 at 6:00 p.m., as DW and I drove to Philadelphia for our flights to San Juan. Went to Geno's Steaks for a REAL Philly Cheese steak (overrated). We stayed in the Microtel Hotel and took advantage of their stay and park program. I did arrange my own air, and I chose PHL over BWI and saved $200 per person. We had very short lines for check-in and security. The plane left at 7:00 and we arrived at SJU ground transportation at about 11:30 a.m. We were on our way (via taxi--$21.50 for 2) to the ship by 11:40 a.m. We arrived at the Port of San Juan around 12:15 (a lot of traffic around the port). The check-in line was short, and check-in took about 10 minutes. Unfortunately, they were still disembarking so we were directed to the chairs for Suites and C & A Diamond/Platinum members. We were in the front row! Had to wait about 45 minutes before they started boarding. DW and I were the 2nd and 3rd ones on the ship! I chose a JS cabin (1312). This room is located on the beginning of the hump (starboard) deck 10, between 2 suites. The balcony is very private, and for the first time (because of its location) I didn't have to leave my balcony for smoking neighbors. My only complaint here is that the balcony is very narrow (see pictures on webshots). After we dropped off our carry-ons, went to the Windjammer for lunch. After lunch, we explored the ship. Adventure of the Seas is a beautiful ship, but some of the deck lounge chairs were downright disgusting. If they can't be cleaned, they should be replaced. The shows The welcome aboard show was a real clunker. The juggler was pretty bad, but the comedian was OK. Then we got highlights of Velvet Rope and Can't Stop The Rock. For me, they were low lights, and I didn't bother going to any of the shows. I did go to the Quest Game, which is always a blast. I saw the Love & Marriage show on RC-TV. It was really funny too—I'm sorry I missed it in person. The Food The food was great. It was always hot (very) when it arrived at our table. Our headwaiter was Lloyd, and his assistant was Steven. At the first dinner, I asked for lemonade, and we had it the rest of the cruise w/o having to ask. For some reason, there was a shortage of lemonade, so Steven arranged to get syrup from one of the bars. He made the lemonade for us each night. The formal nights were Monday and Thursday. I only had dinner in the dining room, preferring to have breakfast & lunch at the buffet. The buffet food was good. We also used our free coupon to try Johnny Rockets, and it was good also. It seems that the wait staff is a bit over worked. While our service was good, (food always hot) I have NEVER seen a headwaiter have to pitch in and help so much. This headwaiter actually earned his tip. My only complaint about the Windjammer is that if you go during prime time, forget about finding a place to sit. The Ports Since this was our third southern Caribbean cruise, my goal was to relax and enjoy the beaches. In Aruba, we went to Palm Beach and spent the day there. It was not crowded, but we had to deal with several passing showers. In Curacao, we just walked around the town and shopped (since we had passing showers here too, DW wasn't about to let her hair get messed up—so no more beaches). In St. Maarten, we shopped (both DW and I purchased new watches). We also went to Lucky Too gift shop where we purchased alcohol. This place has the best prices (see the picture—St. Maarten 11 on webshots). After shopping, we returned to the ship to drop of our bags, and then hit the island again. Then it happened—we took a tour of the Divi Resort. In St. Thomas, we went shopping again. This was the only day that it didn't rain!! Disembarkation What a sharp contrast to what I experienced on Carnival! It may be the fact that I chose to take a RCI San Juan (Old San Juan and Bacardi) tour, so we were the second group off the ship. We were cleared to leave the ship at 8:25 a.m., had our luggage by 8:40, and were on the tour bus by 8:45. If you have a late flight, I highly recommend taking an RCI tour in San Juan. The tour left at 9:10 a.m. and we arrived at the airport at 1:30 p.m. There was a short line to check in at American, and then it was off to the AA Admiral's club. Purchased a Day pass to the Admiral's club ($75 for 2) where there were comfortable lounge chairs, light refreshments and TVs (so I could watch the football game). DW thought $75 was a lot to pay, but quickly changed her mind when she saw how crowded the gate area was when we went to board the plane. I also had a T Mobile hotspot day pass, ($9.99) so I could surf the web while waiting in the Admiral's club. In conclusion Like all my cruises, this was very enjoyable and relaxing. For those who worry about cruising over a holiday, I did not see a lot of unruly children. In fact, most of the children I encountered were well behaved. Also, there have been a lot of negative reviews regarding the number of Puerto Rican citizens on ships out of San Juan. My observation was that there was a few that were loud and obnoxious, and some were rude, (not moving out of the way, sitting on stairwells) but that didn't deter me from my ultimate goal—having a nice relaxing vacation. I was disappointed that no Christmas decorations went up during the week. The all-important questions are: · Will I cruise over Thanksgiving again? Absolutely! Booked Serenade of the Seas for Thanksgiving 2005. · Will I cruise RCI again? Heck Yeah! I should attain Diamond status after the Serenade cruise, then I'll try Celebrity and Princess. · Remember; take this review with a grain of salt. Your cruise is what YOU make of it. What you have read are my personal views and opinions, which will help you when you cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2004
We were on the Christmas sailing 12/19/04. The air travel to San Juan via American Airlines was a nightmare, had to wake up 3 kids at 5:00 a.m. to get on the 8:00 a.m. flight. We got to the airport 2 hours before our flight and stood in ... Read More
We were on the Christmas sailing 12/19/04. The air travel to San Juan via American Airlines was a nightmare, had to wake up 3 kids at 5:00 a.m. to get on the 8:00 a.m. flight. We got to the airport 2 hours before our flight and stood in line at Los Angeles airport for about one hour and 20 min. When we got to the counter at 40 min before the flight we were told the computer shut down for this flight 5 min. prior, and rebooked us for 11:00 p.m. flight. By this time we had no ride back home, and our pre-paid hotel at San Juan is bunked. No apologies by any of the reps. To make the matter worse on the return flight home, they delayed the flight 4 hours, making our wait at the airport about 6 hours. Fort Lauderdale airport was air conditioned freezing cold and we all got the flu. Have super warm clothing available. Sweatshirt and long pants not enough. The ship: When we got to embarkation, we paid $900 for an upgrade from inside to a balcony, no free upgrades, and we asked. The rooms were basically identical with exception to a grungy narrow balcony, totally not worth this much money, balcony-not inviting, spent maybe total of 1 hour on it the whole week. My sister however was able to upgrade from balcony to owner's suite for $900, and the room was fantastic with flat screen large tv, 2 sets of windows and roomy sitting area + concierge service which seemed nice. Food: Princess was a lot better, especially the lunch buffet, which reminded me of dorm food in college. Dinners were nice. Scheduled activities: Morning stretch class -- one morning instructor did not bother to show up. Long driving contest on golf simulator -- cancelled without notice, they gave the time slot away to paying customers, can you beat that? Roller blading track is a joke, as is the slide in the swimming pool, no one was on these two places the whole time we were on. We signed up for AOS thinking our kids would enjoy the amenities like rock climbing and ice skating etc. but we were wrong, they didn't want to do much of that stuff. We could have gotten a cheaper deal and better food on Princess, like the last time we went on it to Alaska. We did do the America's Cup Regatta -- everyone loved it even though it was hard work. In St. Maarten we rented jet skis at the Little Bay and the kids loved that even more, super fast for 1 hour. It seems there were more cool activities you can do on St. Thomas and St. Maarten. In Curacao we took a 2 hour city tour -- adults liked it kids thought it was a wasted time. they then drove us to the beach (forgot the name) and then went snorkeling at the ship wreck -- best snorkeling here. Did this on our own. We saw organized tours arriving (about $40). Did canoeing for $15(hour) great deal, also did sea-doo, kids thought it was too slow compared to the jet skiing at St. Maarten. The town of Curacao was really pretty and walking distance to the ship, however everything closed by the 6:00 p.m. when we got back. There is no extended Christmas shopping hours here obviously. Aruba -- Went 4 wheel driving to The Natural Bridge -- long and bumpy ride. 1 advice is to eat before you get there, we arrived at lunch time and 1 restaurant available was not very appetizing looking and it took another 1 hour to get back to the ship even via the fast paved roads, and we were all hungry by then. Palm Beach-no fishes here, we rented a catamaran which turned out to be a bargain $20 for 1 hour. Parasailing was too brief for the price. These vendors approach you for the activities right on the beach, and then you bargain with them for wide range in prices. The entertainment was pretty good. We had a special Russian comedian  -- Yakov Smirnoff. The other regular comedian was also very funny, and of course the ice show was very good. Bingo was pretty expensive I think we paid $25 for the cards. The jackpot was won by some young man for over $7,000. Read Less
Sail Date December 2004
I am sadly back from my first cruise on the AOS. It was the Southern Caribbean route and was fantastic! We went to St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Aruba, Curacao. The ship looked and is amazing! It is clean and just spectacular! We were on the ... Read More
I am sadly back from my first cruise on the AOS. It was the Southern Caribbean route and was fantastic! We went to St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Aruba, Curacao. The ship looked and is amazing! It is clean and just spectacular! We were on the 8th floor inside cabin with a toddler and the room size was just fine. My parents had a balcony room on the 6th floor and that was really nice. The food was good, not great but good. I was never disappointed. There is always something to do on board and always something to eat! I loved the Cafe Promenade! Every night we would sit and have a cup of tea and cookies or cake and just people watch. It was so nice. The weather was perfect. There was some rain but it didn't last long at all. Curacao I didn't enjoy any part of it. the people were rude, weather bad, stores not so great...just nothing special. The Yakov Smirnoff show was funny. He was the comedian on board. I saw another review that said it wasn't good but we as well as many others thought he was funny even though it did seem like he was reciting his resume for us. The ice show was fantastic. The Island Grill buffet was good too. Always good food. Lines were never bad at all. Boarding the ship was very quick and painless. The departure was a little slower but really not that bad! One bad thing....CHAIR HOGS! It was disgusting! There were NO chairs available around the pool by 8:30 a.m.! People did the usual, dump towels and walk away forever!!! We actually got in an argument with a guy who was saving like 8 chairs, one of them had nothing on it and he claimed it was his! The nerve of some people...we ended up with the chair in the end and also ended up shaking hands with the man after lots of swearing. We went to Megans Bay Beach excursion in St. Thomas. WASTE OF MONEY! It was crowded and over rated! Don't do it...go to Orient Beach. Shopping was the best in St. Maarten for Louis Vuitton fakes and great jewelry! My mom, sister-in-law and myself all bought diamond jewelry in Aruba though...actually I bought my ring on the ship and love it!! Had a great time, would do it again in a heart beat! P.S. the service was great too! Read Less
Sail Date December 2004
I just returned from the cruise this evening and wanted to put thoughts to paper before they get forgotten. I enjoyed my cruise very much and am a first-time cruiser. I went with my family including 2 children one age 3 and one age 1. We ... Read More
I just returned from the cruise this evening and wanted to put thoughts to paper before they get forgotten. I enjoyed my cruise very much and am a first-time cruiser. I went with my family including 2 children one age 3 and one age 1. We specifically chose the Adventure of the Seas for its Adventure Ocean program catering to children age 3 and above as long as they are out of diapers. We used the Adventure Ocean a couple times but I was somewhat disappointed in the fact that although it showed a very full calendar of events for each day, often the children were placed in front of a video and did nothing more than "veg out." A strange phenomenon which occurred on our cruise and I am not sure if it is a regular thing on this ship is that there was an enormous group of Puerto Ricans aboard the ship -- they were definitely in the majority of passengers on the ship. This of course would not be a problem at all except for the fact that my child spent time in the Adventure Ocean program with children and counselors who spoke mainly Spanish. Maybe this is why they did not have as many activities as previously planned. Another issue I have in terms of child friendliness is the fact that no children in diapers or swim diapers are allowed in ANY of the pools at ANY time. This of course meant our younger child was not permitted to enter any of the pools (including the children's pool) because of the swim diaper. If you have a young child who is not potty-trained and needs a swim diaper forget about this ship or forget about going to the pool which is what we pretty much had to do. Their many signs about health concerns regulating the fact that children in diapers are not allowed in pools is questionable as I never saw anyone checking the various water levels at any time AND the pools are open 24 hours a day and frankly I am more concerned with what an ADULT does in that pool at 3 a.m. than a baby any day! This policy was very irritating and certainly complicated matters for us in terms of being able to enjoy time on the decks by the pools. Another thing is that many of the activities in the evening did not start until well past most of our bed times -- 11:30 for some people is rather late.... we were able to attend a few events which were held at more reasonable times but with 2 small children getting to bed at a reasonable time is also important for the parents... We used the "Cyber Cabin" service which was to provide us internet in our cabin. For the steep price of $100 we received a very pathetic dial-up connection which was out half the time. We were needless-to-say extremely disappointed in this service although the $0.50/minute charge on the ship to use their computers was not much better either. Royal Caribbean really needs to improve this service. I also was surprised at the fact that Royal Caribbean did not provide lotion in their cabins -- a small little item which can be found in most cheap motels and would certainly have been appreciated on the cruise. Our evening waiters were unbelievable -- they were extremely attentive and had excellent memories and were always very quick to be of service to us. Each night we would return to our cabin and find the attendant had created a new towel animal to the delight of our children. It was wonderful to say the least. The ports are what they are -- we did not take part in any of the arranged excursions as we found the prices to be very steep. Instead we opted for renting cars in some ports, taking cabs in other ports and water ferries in other ports to get around. None of us were big shoppers and we would often spend half a day at a beach. The infirmary on board was extremely helpful to all of us and were well equipped for some of the medical issues our family had. Read Less
Sail Date December 2004
ITINERARY: San Juan, Puerto Rico; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curacao back to PR. Dec. 19-26, 2004. Topics written about: embarkation, food/dining facilities, the stateroom, ... Read More
ITINERARY: San Juan, Puerto Rico; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curacao back to PR. Dec. 19-26, 2004. Topics written about: embarkation, food/dining facilities, the stateroom, activities, shows and each port of call. Helpful tips included. Embarkation: We arranged our own flight for the day of departure, but booked transportation from the airport to the ship through RCI; it was $13.00 one way. You'll find an RCI agent by your luggage carrousel; wheel your luggage out to the bus [or use & tip a porter]; board the bus and they drop you off at the line to enter the boat. They take your luggage [no tip] and deliver it to the boat [usually arriving between 6:00-8:30 p.m.]. This is less hassle than taking a cab. There were unmarked 2 lines: the one closest to the street was the longest. It is for folks who arrive by cab and need to process their luggage. The short line by the wall is for folks who arranged transportation with RCI [luggage taken care of]. It was fairly quick. There is a photo machine they use to take your [horrid] picture, but the photo is not placed on your plastic ID card. :) Ship time: Atlantic time, which is what Puerto Rico is on, as well as all the islands that were visited. AOS was a clean, attractive ship. The service personnel are from 62 different countries [none from the USA] and are well trained to perform their duties courteously. Misc: This was our first cruise. We have 5 kids, the youngest is 17. We read countless reviews and Q/A's in cruise forums to get an idea of what we were in for. We brought Bonine [Meclizine HCI] but didn't need it. There were a few times we felt the rock of the boat, but is was minor. There were 380+ Puerto Ricans on the ship and a goodly percentage of folks of Hebrew decent, so you noticed food and activities that were geared to them. All folks seemed polite and the many families with children kept them under control. FOOD: All ship food supplies are purchased in Florida. We are not gourmet or picky eaters. If you enjoy [Old] Country Buffet and Perkins, you'll find the food similar and some better [esp. seafood]. J. Rockets: a recent change -- there is now a $3.95/person cover charge to enter Johnny Rockets, but the food doesn't cost anything additional [except pop, juice and malts]. Dining room: Lovely surroundings, attractive table settings, pleasant music and pretty presentations of the meals. The waiters wait until all parties have arrived before taking your order. If you don't like your table, just ask Jamal, the assistant head waiter, what else is available to switch to. It took us an average of 1 hour 20 minutes to get through the dinner. It was pleasant and went by quickly. We had first seating [6:00]. Information about the dinner menu is posted outside the dining room or can be had by calling 0 and asking about the entrees. Most soups and all seafood were very good. The lamb and shrimp scampi were delicious. Most desserts were visually attractive but blah tasting, with the exception of apple crisp, cherries jubilee and a custard. A tasty dessert should find you wanting seconds; we often left desserts half eaten. We experimented, ordering 2 appetizers, salad, soup and entree. One appetizer our table mates ordered was lemon grass soup. Finding it bitter, they rejected it and requested a different appetizer. So, having seconds and making changes are acceptable. There were 2 formal nights and the rest were business casual. Dining room breakfast and lunch is somewhat casual with open seating and only served on level 3. Cafe Promenade: 5th floor, open 24 hrs. Coffee, tea, packaged-powered hot chocolate are available, plus a limited selection of fruit and food items. The food here comes with the cost of your cruise. They expect you to tip these folks, though. Pizza is served here, it's the frozen type. Beverages: tap water, coffee, ice tea, hot tea, lemonade, milk and [juice only for breakfast] is included with the cost of the cruise. Seattle's Best brand coffee was enjoyed by many. All other beverages [juice during lunch & dinner] will cost you extra in any eating/drinking location. Ice cream: The ice milk-like soft serve product is described as ice cream, but it is not. Two employees called it frozen yogurt. It comes in chocolate, strawberry, vanilla and twist. The locations are all on 11th floor: 2 in the Windjammer buffet, one just outside the glass double doors between the stairwell and elevator and the other at the kiddy pool with water slide. None of them open up before 11:00 a.m. I don't know how late they are open. We got use to the taste and ate it mainly because it was cold! Windjammer Buffet: There are plenty of food choices. We ate 5 breakfasts, all lunches and 1 dinner here. There are 3 lines; the line in back had pizza and a couple other things the side lines didn't have. We experimented by taking a tablespoon of most everything to find out what was the tastiest. Again, most things were fine, some were very good and a few were "just there." The meatballs with mushroom gravy were very tasty and so was the salmon. The desserts suffered from the same problem as in the dining room: lovely but only average or blah tasting. The fresh pineapple was sweet. The omelet station has Egg Beaters or you can request egg-white-only omelets. THE ROOM: We had a balcony stateroom on 7th level, toward the aft of the boat. There was adequate closet and shelf space. The combination safe was large enough for two large cameras. A refrigerator was in the room. You can bring food down to your room from the buffet and put it in the fridge. Room service is included in the price you pay for the cruise, but, they expect a tip. Daily, all room attendants make the cutest towel animals that are placed in your room; these are not for keeping. The paper "Cruise Compass" is delivered to your room between 6-7:30 p.m. It contains an insert with general information about the upcoming port of call and a map of the shopping district. The room TV has numerous channels with 2-4 different continuous broadcast movies each day. One of the daily movies is broadcast in 3 foreign languages plus English. ACTIVITIES: Never available prior to 9:00 a.m. or after 7:00 p.m. Putt-putt golf: simple, flat course and that lacks obstacles; usually open. Rollerblades: short narrow maze-like track. Hours of opening usually only 4-7:00. Ice skating: This was VERY seldom open. When it was, you were limited to 45 minutes. You must wear slacks and bring a sweater; it is cool in there. Adequate amount of plastic boot, sharp hockey skates available. The ice is pocked due to hard wear from the practicing show skaters. Rock wall climbing: although there are 4-5 stations usually only 2 are manned with attendants. Most days it was open for only 2-3 hours. Twice it was open for 4-5 hours. Golf simulator: usually open 4:00-6:00 [or 7:00], by reservation. Swimming pools/hot tubs: 24 hrs/day; no lifeguards. The area around the main pool and basketball court blares rock music, making it difficult to concentrate if you are trying to read. Volleyball: 4:00-6:00 most days [after basketball shuts down]. Basketball court: open play, usually around 9:00-4:30. Most frequently it was occupied by men between 17-28. Library: adequate books, no magazines. Business room: 6th floor had summarized, condensed newspapers [5 foreign and one USA] each day. Movie screening room: very small theater with a screen 5' x 8'. Crafts: offered during sea days only [30 minutes]. Shuffleboard: on 4th level, open "24 hours." Jogging path: unusable; it is really a skinny walk path between 2 rows of reclining deck chairs. Photos: they did a nice job. They cost $10 - $20/photo, depending on the size [most were $15]. You can decline their photo-takes when they come to the tables, if you want. Promenade: 5th floor. This is mostly bars and lounges with liquor, jewelry and clothing stores, plus the Cafe Promenade. Other: there is a variety of music, dancing and numerous "pick up" lounge/bars on decks 3, 4, 5 12, and 14. There is a BIG push for shopping/buying: announcements on the overhead, TV purchasing info shows, buying seminars, etc. SHOWS: 9:00 and 10:45, lasting 45 - 60 minutes; in the Lyric Theatre. They were all okay. Day 1: 10:45 p.m. only: comedian, juggler and the RCI Singers and Dancers. Day 2: Stand-up comedian. Day 3: RCI Singers/Dancers with a rock music review from 1950's - 2000. Most was from '70s to present. The volume was deafening. Day 4: Comedian. Day 5: Ice show: Cool Art, Hot Ice. This was the BEST one. During the second half the music was too loud. They purposely pipe in "smoke-like haze" from the right side of the auditorium, but not from the left side. It affected vision, so we switched sides. Day 6: RCI Singers/Dancers: the production "Velvet Rope." 7:00 and 9:00 only. Music volume was better. Day 7: Comedian, juggler and the RCI Singers/Dancers -- 7:00 and 9:00 only [because it was Christmas, they had a second 45 minute ice show at 1, 3, and 5]. PORTS of CALL: This applies to all ports: All hotel tourist areas were lovely, clean and nice. But the rest of the islands have narrow streets, cramped small buildings of hodgepodge construction and varied upkeep, and excessive congestion, especially in the main cities. Yes, there are general road maps available, but they are mainly worthless because most roads and streets are unmarked; occasionally you'd see a street sign. Parking in any of the port cities is nearly impossible -- street parking is all taken and there are few parking lots. We rented cars in St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Curacao [we canceled the latter, as congestion was nuts!]. We'd advise against renting a car, rather use the taxi or in Aruba use the public bus. There really isn't anything to see on any of the islands besides beaches and scattered lookouts with vista views that all started to look alike after a while. Except for St. Thomas they all drive on the right side. If you are determined to rent, reserve in advance. In each port you'll find local venders right at the port announcing they have island tours available. These folks are sanctioned by the local port authority and have ID. You'll find they offer small van/bus tours that cover the major points of interest for the island [ranging from 2 - 3 hours]. The cost is significantly less than the equivalent RCI tour. We took 2 of these and were very pleased. All cities have places to rent snorkeling equipment, so you can take a taxi or bus to the best snorkeling area and do it yourself. Some tours are best arranged by RCI, but are costly. Downtown areas consist mainly of high priced tourist stores selling jewelry, watches, cameras, liquor, tobacco, knick knacks, clothes, tourist trinkets and dishes. The water temperature at all the islands ranges from 80-82 degrees; after 50 minutes of snorkeling we started to feel chilled. San Juan, Puerto Rico: Starting and ending point of the cruise. Warm, muggy. Most of it looked like the lower economic neighborhoods of Mexico. Cars drive fast and many don't obey the rules. We took the RCI City & Bacardi Rum Distillery Tour [$30] on the day we returned to port. It says not to book it if your flight leaves before 5:30. Our flight was at 4:00 and we booked this on the Internet, anyway. The tour guide asked how long we wanted the tour to last; most of us agreed that we wanted to be back by 2:00. The tour pick up was right outside the airport immigration area; luggage was loaded onto a locked truck. The stay at the fort was too short and too long at the rum factory. Two free drinks came with the tour. For us non-drinkers, we had a choice of alcohol-free pina colada or pop. The tour got us back to the airport about 1:45. All things considered the tour was a reasonable deal. Check in was simple and quick, but the line to scan our carry-ons was long and slow. Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas: You should greet everyone from your waiter to the bus driver with "Good day" or "Good morning." St. T. is warm, muggy, with lots of hills, mini mountains and many narrow poorly maintained streets with STEEP inclines. Once exiting the ship you must walk thru Havensight shopping mall to get out of the area. Avis rent a car is across the street; gas was $2.43/gal. Tourist brochures are in stores; the tourist office, located on the block where the P.O. is was closed for remodeling. Our street map came from Avis. You'll see occasional numbered road signs. It is a 1½ mile walk to the downtown area, which consists mainly of high priced tourist stores selling jewelry, watches, cameras, liquor, tobacco, clothes and dishes. There is a bus, but it isn't frequent or reliable. We parked in the pay lot just east of Fort Christian Museum and toured the museum [$3.00]. We drove to The Mountain Top to see the view of Magen's Bay; to get to it you must go thru a string of shops. The view is lovely, but haze decreased visibility. Drake's Seat is just a side-of-the-road stop with another view of Magen's Bay. We drove to Coki Beach [nice] which is right next door to Coral World [C.W is open daily 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., $18 entrance]. At Coki beach we rented snorkeling equipment [$10]. There is no admission fee; free restrooms/shower; vendors have chairs; drinks, etc. Plenty of fish, particularly because people feed them dog biscuits. Due to the haze we skipped the skyride up to Paradise Point [located 1 block to your left, as you exit the Havensight shopping area]. Traffic is usually bad on "highways" 38, 45, 43 and traffic was at a standstill, taking almost an hour to get back to the port, so plan accordingly. St. T Internet Cafe access: The very personable Marty Fredericks [from the States] runs a business [Resort Vacation Clubs] and offers 15 minutes of free access, pop or water and restroom usage to cruise and hotel tourists. He's open 9-2 and sometimes until 4. He'll ask if you're interested in seeing a 7 minute presentation about the club. We declined because we can't sunbathe [and do limited swimming due] to a bout with skin cancer. To locate: find the post office; stand in front and look up the hill just past the small park. The building isn't labeled. Either it or its shutters were painted blue. The uniformed person standing in front of the P.O. can help if you ask were Marty's place is. Philipsburg, St. Maarten: Weather: warm, not very humid. Tourist info is right there at the port. Behind the building are independent tour operators. We rented from Alamo and they picked us up at the port. Traffic was slow heading west toward the airport and after the airport it was at a standstill. It seems there is a bridge that raises to let boats in/out; that plus people stopping and chatting cause traffic. We drove the main road all around the island. The nice homes weren't visible from the street due to high walls and vegetation. There was scarcely a street sign to be seen and we drove by guessing. The traffic was bad in Marigot and things are poorly labeled or unlabeled. After asking and hunting we found Fort Louis. [If you find the Texaco station head 1 block west, turn right into an alley that heads for a old Catholic church. Turn right and go around the back of the church, head partly up the incline and park. Walk up the hill, turn right when you see the steep road. At the top is the stairs to the fort remains]. The view is beautiful. Sadly, the government doesn't believe in maintaining their historic sites. We drove around where the average citizen lives and found it depressing. Leaving Marigot we wanted to stop in Grand Case, but due to lack of signage, passed thru without realizing it. We tried to find the various points of interest labeled on the map, but due to lack of signage, missed most everything. We saw a developer's sign for Orient Beach and drove thru the lovely high rent district. We followed the sign to Oyster Beach [Fr. side] and Dawn Beach. The latter was spelled differently, so we passed by. The road to get to it is VERY steep going up and down. The parking was in the grass by what looked like a not well kept up small bar/restaurant. The powdery beach was nice [pay for chairs, huts]. The waves were about 2-3' high and some toplessness was noted. The traffic at 2:00 was at a snail's pace as you got close to the Great Bay Salt Pond [40+ minutes to crawl our way to the port]. There is a water taxi [$5/for all day] at the pier that takes you into Philipsburg, if you are just going for shopping. There is an Internet cafe in town and one at the pier, but neither were open. Four passengers from our ship were left behind, they arrived at 5:37 and the boat had already pulled away. Oranjestad, Aruba: Weather: warm and not so humid. It was mostly flat with lots of cactus and divi divi trees. Aruba is nice, cleaner and the transportation system is organized. Here all beach shore is public property, even if private homes or hotels are on it. The best free map we saw was in the back of "Aruba Experience" which is a tourist booklet. The bus runs every 20 minutes and costs US $1.15 or $2.00 for round trip w/a transfer. The bus terminal is across the street from the pier on the main drag, L.G. Smith Boulevard. If you want to see the 25 min. movie, Aruba Panorama, just walk 2 blocks down to the pink Renaissance Marina Hotel's Crystal theater [inside the casino area, cost $5.00, shown on-the-hour between 11 & 5]. We had booked, paid and confirmed a tour with De Palm but they screwed up and didn't run the tour and had no space to put us on a substitute. They told us to come back tomorrow!! We returned to the port and found private operators giving the same land 2 hr. tour for $10.00!! Winston Simon [5'5", 50 year old black male with small oval sunglasses and a straw hat] stands in the walk promoting the tour [Preketchie Tours was printed on the white 20 passenger air conditioned bus, but not on him]. Tours times: 9, 11, 2:00. We took the tour and were satisfied. The driver, Big Mac, had a touch of humor as he pointed out everything. We saw the Ayo rocks, natural bridge, gold mine ruins, Arashi beach, Calif. Lighthouse and homes of the well-to-do and typical residents. Along the way to these, he pointed out all sorts of things. A couple got off the tour at Arashi beach to go snorkeling. They took the bus back to the port. I realized I had left my camera on the tour bus. When we returned to town, I talked to Simon and he arranged to get it from Big Mac and put it in the Port authority office. :) We got off at the Aruba Grand Hotel and walked along the north side fence to Palm beach area to rent snorkel equipment [$12.50]. You must have a credit card, but can pay the bill in cash. Do not snorkel at Palm beach, per other passengers it was very poor snorkeling. We went back out to the road and caught a bus that said hotels and flashed Malmok after that. Most buses stop at the end of the hotel row and the bus that goes to Malmok only comes every 35-40 minutes. It drops you off at a dirt circle, which is Malmok. Just head north down the road for 2 blocks and you'll see Arashi Beach grass huts to your left and all the catamarans in the water. There are no facilities, we put $ and papers in a Ziplock baggie and tucked it in my swimsuit. Our clothes, towels and glasses were fine on the beach. Snorkeling is best done before 1:00 p.m. When finished, walk back down to the dirt turnaround at Malmok and hop the bus back to the bus station. Admission to the Butterfly Farm is $12.00; it is right next door to the Aruba Grand hotel. Internet cafe: Walk straight to L.G. Smith Blvd.., turn right and go 1/5th of the block and look right for Inter Transfer. They have pay phones and Internet; the latter is $1 per 15 minutes. Willemstad, Curacao: We took a tour that cost $15.00 for 2 hours and saw the few high points of the island. There is one guy with a sign that says he'll take off with 6-8 in his taxi van. The other guys sign doesn't say that, but he was more pleasant. Sometimes they charge $20, confirm the price with whomever is driving. If the weather and timing were better, we would have gone to the Sea Aquarium [$18]. If all you are going to do is shop, just turn right and follow the walk path by the ocean [3 blks] until you come to the pontoon bridge. Once you cross it there is a better visitor info booth with many more maps and other information than the one at the port. For the Internet cafe: go straight ahead as you get off the pontoon bridge, walking 2 blocks. KF Chicken is on your left and the place is kind of just before KFC, 15' down a narrow alley like walk path. It is called Swift Internet. The price was $2.00 for up to 30 minutes. Nice owner. Many of the downtown streets are marked, but the signage basically quits outside the downtown area. Traffic was awful and there is no place to park so we canceled the car. If the pontoon bridge opens to allow boat traffic, just take the free water taxi boat. All the little museums and the synagogue charge $2 or $3 admission. Read Less
Sail Date December 2004
This is our 9th RCCL cruise and 2nd on one of the Mega ships-per our 13 year old daughter's request for the rock climbing wall and ice rink. We arrived a day early to spend extra time in old San Juan. Unfortunately,the next day was ... Read More
This is our 9th RCCL cruise and 2nd on one of the Mega ships-per our 13 year old daughter's request for the rock climbing wall and ice rink. We arrived a day early to spend extra time in old San Juan. Unfortunately,the next day was the governor's inauguration--and the whole city was shut down for parties. Our original hotel pick-up time of 1:30 pm was changed that morning (at 9:00am) to 10:30am because of the traffic problem. We arrived at the ship's terminal, but they were not prepared for any early arrivals (there were hundreds) so we waited for several hours in the terminal before we could board. Once we boarded we still couldn't get to our room for 2 more hours. I realize they needed time to prepare the ship--but wish they had may arrangements to deal with this or changed hotels outside of old San Juan (cruise ship made arrangements). Ship was in great shape-very clean. Our room was very nice. Our first time to have the concierge level. Nice amenities with a special lounge with free drinks (good setup) and appetizers every evening from 5:30-8:30. The cabin came with a DVD payer with a Bose surround sound. Great! The concierge had DVD's and music CD's to check out. Food was good-not great, but considering the amount of people they serve, it is amazing they do it so well. We ate at Portofino's twice. Both times were excellent food and service. Went to a few shows-typical RCCL shows-the music/dance numbers are well done-the comedy/individual depend on your own taste. Main complaints: The other guests on board - many were very rude and pushy-we were pushed out of the way for elevators, stairs, pool, food, etc. Our 13 year old daughter (her 6th cruise) who loves the kid/teen programs, quit going after the 2nd day from harassing and verbal abuse. Our table of 12 (from Chicago, Connecticut, & Florida) said they would never sail from San Juan again. FYI we live in San Antonio (67% Hispanic) live, work, shop with Spanish speaking people everyday-so it isn't language issue. My husband is fluent in Spanish, and I can pass--and even when we tried to communicate with some of the guests we were rebuffed. It is really a shame. The islands we visited are all very nice. Aruba was booming-lots of building going on-we hired a taxi driver to show us around. Very nice. In Curacao we did the Close Animal Encounter-it is a 12 foot dive so even non-divers can do it.Feed sting rays, turtles, even sharks (through a hole in plexiglass) It was a great way for our daughter to get a taste of diving. We loved the building and architecture there. St Martin is beautiful, but the beach peddlers are really aggressive. Went to St. John's for the Trunk Bay snorkel- was a beautiful beach, too. Then an afternoon of shopping in St. Thomas. We thought Aruba had the best prices on jewelry and watches-if you are into that sort of thing-even better that St. Thomas. We ended our trip with a one day at the Ritz in San Juan--great way to end a vacation! We really loved the itinerary-but would think twice about going out of San Juan again. It's a long way (and not cheap) to put up with such passengers again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2005
We just returned from our seventh cruise yesterday and while this cruise is still very fresh in my mind, I wanted to write this review. This was our sixth cruise with Royal Caribbean -- the other cruise was with Norwegian. This was, by ... Read More
We just returned from our seventh cruise yesterday and while this cruise is still very fresh in my mind, I wanted to write this review. This was our sixth cruise with Royal Caribbean -- the other cruise was with Norwegian. This was, by far, our best cruise ever. The ship is awesome, the cruise staff was very friendly and wonderful. This ship is very large and has tons of activities and things to do on board. A week just wasn't long enough -- we were unable to fit everything in. We slept on the average of five hours a night -- my husband and I just wanted to get in as much as possible. I had read many reviews prior to our sailing and I know that you can't please everyone, but this ship truly does try their hardest. Our inside stateroom was very clean and comfortable (we're never in our room for very long, but there was ample storage space and very comfortable for the two of us); our cabin steward (David) was fantastic. Meals were great both in the dining room and up at Windjammer and Island Grill -- no shortage of food on this cruise ship. Johnny Rockets is fun, entertaining and the food was awesome -- loved the onion rings and shakes! The cruise director, Richard Spacey, is very entertaining and fun. We really enjoyed his sense of humor. The ports of call were spectacular and plenty of excursions to choose from, shopping galore or if you just wanted to stay on the ship, there was plenty to do. In the past we have sailed on different ships, but this is the first time we can say that we can't wait to go back on AOS. It was truly delightful and we had a spectacular time. If you have a cruise planned in the future, please enjoy yourself and remember, you're on vacation and it's time to relax and have some fun -- don't dwell on the petty little things that others complain about in their reviews. Read Less
Sail Date January 2005
This was our 9th cruise and our 4th cruise on Royal Caribbean. We are in our 50s. In addition to Royal Caribbean we have cruised on Celebrity and Norwegian. We both agreed this was one of our best cruises. The Adventure of the Seas is a ... Read More
This was our 9th cruise and our 4th cruise on Royal Caribbean. We are in our 50s. In addition to Royal Caribbean we have cruised on Celebrity and Norwegian. We both agreed this was one of our best cruises. The Adventure of the Seas is a truly beautiful ship. Embarkation was painless and the line not overly long. The ship is very large but tastefully decorated. Our cabin was roomier than on other Royal Caribbean cruises. The shower was was particularly large. We had a balcony which we used a lot. The dining room is huge but set up in such a way as to seem intimate. Our waiter (Georgi) and busboy (Cecil) were wonderfully attentive and very patient with every request. The stateroom attendant was also excellent and the service rivaled any other cruise line. The food was very good with a nice presentation. We did not go to Portofinos (the specialty restaurant)but were told by our dining mates that it was a wonderful experience. The shows were mediocre at best and the cruise director, Richard, was annoying. The ice show, however, was phenomenal. Be sure to watch your "Compass" so you get tickets. The show is free but the tickets are limited. The swimming pool areas were clean and there were plenty of chairs and towels available. The Solarium area was our favorite. It is decorated in an Italian style and is adults only. It is much quieter than the the regular pools. There are several hot tubs on the ship and there are always spaces available. The Spa is wonderful and there were numerous specials throughout the cruise. Prices were particularly reasonable when we were in port. We really acquainted ourselves with the entire ship. The miniature golf course was fun with its breathtaking views from the top of the ship. We watched the rock wall climbers from outside the 19th Hole Bar and cheered those climbers who were able to "ring the bell." The children's program seemed well run and there is a children's pool with a water slide. We never made it to Johnny Rockets but it looked like fun. Our favorite meeting place was the Schooner Bar which was staffed by a great group. The shopping area is a main focus in the ship and was frequently very crowded. The library was OK but not very quiet as many people used it to pass from one side of the ship to the other. There were many Spanish speaking cruisers which made the experience seem truly international. Announcements were always in English and Spanish and most staff seemed fluent in both languages. The ports of call (Aruba, Curacao, St. Thomas and St. Maarten) were wonderful with lots of picturesque beaches and shopping. The San Juan Airport did not seem adequate to handle the crowds of cruisers on Sunday. There were not enough chairs and the line for food at the only available restaurant was at least an hour long. Read Less
Sail Date January 2005
We are unfortunately back from our first cruise on the AOS (January 23, 2005). DH and I are both 42. We chose not to take our kids out of school (DS 14, DS 19, DD 21). One word: WOW!!! More specific? Best vacation we've ever ... Read More
We are unfortunately back from our first cruise on the AOS (January 23, 2005). DH and I are both 42. We chose not to take our kids out of school (DS 14, DS 19, DD 21). One word: WOW!!! More specific? Best vacation we've ever had. Our cruise route took us from San Juan, to Aruba, Curacao, St. Marteen/Martin and St. Thomas and back to San Juan) - it was fantastic! We went to Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten and St. Thomas. The ship is amazing and beautiful! It is clean and just unbelievable! We had a 9th floor JS on the hump (9318). We booked it because the difference between a balcony and a JS (at that time) was only $200. The room was fabulous. The only problem I saw with it is the fact that I can never go back to an oceanview or regular balcony. We had more than enough storage space (didn't use a lot of it) and the view was spectacular. The walk-in closet was a keeper & having the extra space for the bathtub was something I don't think I could give up. We were in the middle of the hump and could see the entire ship on the starboard side. The food very good to excellent; we were never disappointed. There is always something to do on board and always something to eat! If you went hungry and forget to eat breakfast or in port (like we did) I'd have to say that's your own fault. The weather was perfect (there was rain on the first at-sea day, occasionally during the cruise, and on the debarkation day, but how can you complain about a little rain in 80+ degree weather when everyone at home is freezing with snow/wind and the temp is at or below freezing)? DH really isn't "into" shows, so we didn't see any. Didn't really miss them though - we had late seating and were generally getting ready for dinner about the time that the shows were happening. We did try to make it to Karaoke one night, but it was so packed that we just didn't feel like pushing out way in. Arrival in San Juan. We arrived in SJU at about 8:00 p.m. (long day of flying - our 1st flight left at 6:35 a.m. M.S.T.) The airport arrival was not our best experience. Too many people and not enough organization. We finally secured a taxi (which is definitely price-regulated) and were transported to the Wyndham. We arrived at appx. 9:30 p.m. The Wyndham (which we were awarded via Hotwire) was adequate. Our room had two beds, each big enough for two very small adults or one regular sized adult. We decided it would be more comfortable to sleep in separate beds. It was fairly under cleaned, etc. We were on vacation, though, and chose to make the best of it. I think that if I had to do it over, I'd stay in Old San Juan. There were some really groovy looking hotels there (El Convente is one I recall specifically). We went across the walkway and ate at Tony Roma's - had a couple of beers and great Carolina Honey Ribs (even in Puerto Rico). We then decided to have a beer in the casino bar ($6.00 each - Coors Light). Pretty proud of those beers. Embarkation. Leaving the hotel was the also "taxing." I think everyone decided to leave at the same time. We made it to the ship around 12:30 p.m. and checked our bags and breezed through - right onto the ship. We went directly to our stateroom and it was a great first impression. Out cabin steward Mauricio was attentive and responsive, but unobtrusive throughout the entire cruise. We then made our way to the dining room where we discovered, to our pleasure, that we had a table for 2 - late seating. Then onto the Sky Bar for a cocktail (or two, I can't recall) before returning to our stateroom. We wandered, etc. and generally just chilled out. It was great. We went back to our stateroom and then our bags appeared. I unpacked and then we went and checked out the ship some more. Day 1: San Juan. We met our waiter (Raz), assistant waiter (Stephen) and bar waiter (Erskine). They were all phenomenal. That may be too mellow of a word. If anyone ever goes on the AOS, they should have Raz as their waiter, Stephen and Erskine as support staff. Raz was informative, polite, pleasant, knowledgeable, sweet, etc., etc., etc., etc. I cannot say enough great things about our wait staff. Stephen was great and Erskine made sure DH had his Coors Light before he sat down for dinner every night. That was greatly appreciated. I also want to point out that our head waiter came over to check on us every night. He would have a short conversation, not necessarily about dinner, with my DH as well. We've never had such a great head waiter. Usually they're not existent except on the last night (when they show up for tips). I saw our head waiter removing used plates, napkins, etc. Dinner the first night was casual - lots of people still hadn't arrived due to the winter storm; luggage was also slow in coming. We were very fortunate to have made the ship with all of our luggage. The food was very good; I had an onion tart, spinach salad and Shrimp Ravioli. More than enough food for me so I skipped dessert. We retired to our stateroom early to watch departure from our balcony. Unfortunately, we didn't sail until about 2:00 a.m. (waiting on lots of late arrivals.) I missed the sail-away. Day 2: At sea. This was another remarkable day. The weather wasn't overly cooperative, but we still enjoyed it (vacation remember??). We enjoyed coffee every morning on our balcony. You can't really beat that. We shopped/browsed along the promenade, had a couple of cocktails, ate lunch, played some in the casino, sat by the pool, etc. The pools weren't overly crowded because of the weather, the ship just didn't seem that crowded. (Come to find another 300 or so people had missed the ship because of the terrible weather back East.) We really enjoyed this day - it was also our first formal night. The dinner was great. I had escargot as an appetizer, Caesar salad and Teriyaki Salmon and rice. I also had the Crème Brule for dessert (it took a while so Stephen brought me a strawberry cheesecake to "tide me over" while we waited for the Crème Brule) - it was absolutely worth the wait. We wandered after dinner and saw some great musicians (again), stopped the Casino, and then on to bed at about 1:00 a.m. (maybe). Day 3: Aruba. We rented a 4X4 on our own in Aruba (Super Car Rental). They were right at the pier so we didn't have to waste any time going to the airport or other location to pick up our ride. We wanted a 4X4 we could lock, w/ AC (because of posts from the CC board) - it cost us $85.00 + the optional $15.00 for insurance. Carnivale was going on in Aruba, so lots of places were closed. We finally found a grocery store where we could buy some bottled water and went off in search of Baby beach; we ended up on the very tip of the island (below the prison) - the road signs are almost non-existent. That turned out to be very enjoyable. We met an Arubian lady who was out fishing with her 2 sons. She had gone to college in Oklahoma and spoke fluent English. She and her sons were also picking "sea grapes" which grew on some very beautiful plants and were quite tasty. We learned a lot about the island, its culture, etc. from this very nice lady and spent about an hour talking to her. She then pointed us in the direction of Baby Beach. We stopped at the local rental shop and rented snorkel gear ($5.00/PP/hour) and on to Baby Beach. The snorkeling was great; we saw big, beautiful fish. The sand was white and wonderful; the water crystal clear and warm. Lots of people though. Also, keep in mind that you have to pay $.50 to use the restroom, and the facilities for food/beverage are really minimal. We were glad we had bought a large pack of water. We left there after about an hour in search of Charlie's Bar in San Nicholas. We did find it, but it was closed due to Carnivale. We then went in search of the Black Hog (which was on the other side of the island. We found it, but it was pretty much closed up, except for the gift shop (fortunately they sold Coors light to drink while we shopped). It was still cool to check out the burn out track and the Harley Coaster. We decided to head back to the ship (traffic was really awful because of the holiday). We cleaned up a bit on the ship and set off to find Carlos and Charlies. We noticed when we were leaving the ship the 2nd time that there were many people boarding the ship. We decided to have a late lunch at Iguana Joes. Great choice - the beers were really cold and the Jerk Chicken Sandwich was really wonderful, bought one of the sons a T-shirt. We then walked down the street to Carlos and Charlies (which was also pretty quiet at that time). We had a beer and bought other DS a T-shirt (DH had to have one too). We headed back to the ship around 7:00 p.m. to clean up for our dinner at Portofinos. Our dinner there was really good, but I wouldn't do it again. The service was definitely less personal than we had been enjoying in the dining room. I had the sautEed shrimp on saffron rice, Caesar Salad, a small portion of lobster sauce spaghetti with small bits of lobster. The Tenderloin steak - fabulous - was served with mashed potentates, caramelized onions and asparagus. It was a great Tenderloin, perfectly cooked (medium rare). Dessert was a chocolate cup with creamed chocolate inside (can't remember the name). Overall, dinner was really great, except for the service was slow and impersonal, and they messed up part of DH's order. We decided to skip the after dinner festivities and went to bed. DH did go to check out the midnight buffet (not to eat, just to take photos). He said it was pretty impressive. Day 4: Curacao. (Gosh, is it really going this fast???) We again set off on our own adventure. We took a taxi to the Sea Aquarium (I think it was about $10.00 + tip). We really enjoyed the shows, especially the dolphin training exercise. DH got great video of this. They also had sea lions, sharks, sea turtles, fish, etc. After about 2-½ hours there, we decided it was time to venture to the beach. We walked along the Sea Aquarium Beach ($3.00/PP) and found two chairs ($3.00/PP) underneath two palm trees. Perfect. DH walked back up the beach and rented snorkel gear (I think this was about $24.00). We snorkeled and sunbathed. The snorkeling was okay, the water wasn't as clear as Aruba. We did see some really neat fish up along the break. There was also a public restroom with a fresh water shower and plenty of public facilities. That was nice for after a swim in the ocean. We met a really nice couple from Arizona (Mel and Annette). DH is a musician and so is Mel. We visited for a while and they left to return to the ship. We left after a few hours and ventured back to town via taxi. We stopped to shop (had to buy some Baby Gouda) and some shirts, shot glasses, etc. Then walked across the swinging bridge back to the ship. We watched the sail-away and then had a couple of drinks while getting ready for dinner. Balconies are the best. I had shrimp scampi for dinner, a salad and some type of appetizer (I can't remember what it was). As always, the service was perfect and the food was quite good. The breads were always fresh and I let Stephen pick my bread each night. We wandered after dinner and saw some great musicians (again), stopped the Casino, and then on to bed at about 1:00 a.m. Day 5: At Sea. We had breakfast in the Windjammer and it was good. The variety was fine. We wandered the ship, stopped at the Windjammer for water and iced tea and met a really nice couple there. We then played putt-putt golf (DH won - I was fairly put out by that) and watched the belly flop contest. That was hilarious. I cannot imagine putting oneself through that kind of pain for a key chain. Obviously they were enjoying themselves and so was the crowd. We then moved the casino for the slots tournament - it was fun, but we didn't make it to the 2nd round so continued to wander. Chairs at the pool were few and far between, so we chose to move up higher. We enjoyed the view from there better anyway. We took a nap that day, and just relaxed and tried to recuperate from the previous days. It was formal night at dinner that night, so we had cocktails on our balcony while getting dressed. We had crab cakes for appetizers (definitely not Chops quality) but OK. We then had salad, with Sea Bass as the appetizer. It was good. Day 6: St. Marteen. We left the ship fairly early to go off on our own adventure. We wanted to go to the beach and have another relaxing day. We found our way quite easily (taxi stands are clearly marked by destination) to Orient Beach (French side). We shared a taxi with 12 other people and agreed to meet back at the ship at 2:45 p.m. I think the cost was $5.00/PP (plus tip). We then ventured down the beach to Kontiki beach (red and white chairs and umbrellas). The sand was white, white, white and just beautiful. We rented chairs and an umbrella (and switched between chairs to share the umbrella) for $16.00 (?) We were very close to the activity, but not so close to be concerned about others. There are vendors on this beach, but a simple "no thank you" worked quite well. There was also a public restroom (male/female share) with a fresh water shower. There was plenty of nudity on the beach (bare-assed naked nudity). It's my understanding that folks at the naturist beach walk along this beach too. I guess it's very European for women to sunbathe or walk the beach topless. We left the beach in time to avoid too much sun (sunburn) and made it back to travel with the other 12 people in our group. The "head" of their group was giving our taxi driver such a bad time that I was sure he was going to kick us all out. DH thought the guy was hilarious. It was very entertaining. We stopped at the small shopping area outside the docks and DH met a really nice English gentleman. He was traveling on the Princess ship (a back to back cruise) that just so happened to be docked at the same time as the AOS. His wife was out shopping and he was having a few "cold ones." We had a nice talk, but had to get back to the ship to avoid it leaving without us!! Dinner that night was really great. Raz and our head waiter picked out a very special wine for dinner that night. It was a 200 Behringers, Founders Estate, Pinot Noir. It was quite exceptional. I had a smoked salmon appetizer, a nice salad, Lobster and Shrimp, and a really great cheesecake. My DH had the prime rib (which was served medium rare - exactly as ordered) and the Lobster and Shrimp). Raz offered us seconds on the lobster, but we declined. It appeared that lots of people were partaking in second and thirds . . . . It was really good lobster. We wandered after dinner and saw some great musicians (again), stopped the Casino, and then on to bed at about 1:00 a.m. Day 7. St. Thomas. We had to go through immigration, but that took only about 5 minutes. Show your passport and your sea pass card and move on through. St. Thomas is an absolutely beautiful island. Need I say more? I really loved St. Thomas. We booked an excursion here; it was offered through the ship - a private yacht with no more than 6 people (plus your captain). We ended up waiting for about ½ hour because the ship had overbooked the tours and the owner needed to call another captain in. We were really glad we volunteered to wait. We had a wonderful sail with a great couple from Austin, Texas. There were only 4 of us on the boat. The captain powered us out to Buck Island where we snorkeled and lazed in the sun for about 1-½ hour. The water was perfect, the snorkeling incomparable, definitely an excursion I would do again. We then enjoyed beers (or rum punch if it was your preference) on the yacht and the company of a really great captain and our co-snorkelers/sailors. Our captain sailed us back and, unfortunately, the end of the excursion was upon us. It was one of the most memorable and enjoyable experiences of my life. We walked back to the ship from the excursion, rinsed off a bit, and then off to shop. Really shop. My husband bought me a new ring, plus we found the Harley shop and found some great bargains on hot sauces, shot glasses, T-shirts. Another perfect day - other than DH had to drag me back onto the ship, kicking and screaming, by my hair. I knew that if I got back on that ship I'd end up back in Casper, WY. I was right too. Unfortunately, the cruise and our vacation had to end sometime. We went back to the ship and started the unfortunate process of packing. For dinner that night, I had shrimp cocktail, salad with pine nuts and sweet and sour Mahi Mahi. Another perfect day. Unfortunately, it had to end sometime. We went back to the room and finished packing. We put our bags out and went on the last of our adventures, seeing the last of the shipboard musicians, last shot at the Casino, and then to bed at about 1:00 a.m. Day 8. Disembarkation. It was pouring down rain as we watched our arrival into San Juan. The rainy weather didn't really slack off until we were just out of the terminal. We had the last number to be called because we didn't have a flight out of San Juan until Monday. We were out of our room by 8:15 or 8:30 a.m., and made our way to breakfast in the dining room. Breakfast was very good and we were seated with 3 couples who were traveling together (they were from Wisconsin). Breakfast was very leisurely, but we left there at about 9:30. We then went to look at photos and purchased a couple. We made our way up to the pool deck and waited until our number was called. The line looked really long, but moved really fast. We found our luggage - it was stacked in color-coded section. This was really easy. Also, getting through customs was speedy (get a porter, they'll breeze you right through and get you a taxi immediately). It was definitely worth the tip. We were back to the hotel by about 12:00 noon and checked right into our hotel. We decided to go shopping/exploring Old San Juan. I'm really glad we did because we enjoyed that self-tour a lot. I would have liked to have gone to the rain forest or bioluminescent pool, but because of the rainy weather, we opted not to do a tour. Well, I hope you found this summary of our 1/23/05 AOS cruise informative. If you have any questions, I'll try to answer them. Read Less
Sail Date January 2005
This was our first cruise and it was for the most part very enjoyable. Our table staff in the dining room and the room steward were outstanding. There were 4 of us traveling together and the unfortunate part was that RCI seated us with 2 ... Read More
This was our first cruise and it was for the most part very enjoyable. Our table staff in the dining room and the room steward were outstanding. There were 4 of us traveling together and the unfortunate part was that RCI seated us with 2 older women who spoke little English. Not astute on their part. Since the ship offers to locals, there were many people from Puerto Rico on board and several who paid little attention to the formal dress code on formal nights. It was disappointing to see jeans, shorts and sneakers in the dining room, with no enforcement. We had a balcony room and that was excellent. We loved it in the evening. The shows were really good and the talent of the young singers and dancers was exceptional. The ice show is fantastic. There is something for everyone on board. We saw all the shows and liked them all. The '50s and '60s night was lots of fun, as were the Karaoke nights. We never really felt too crowded in some of the smaller bars on board where you could just sit and not have to drink if you chose not to. They were just nice places to sit and talk. The ports of call were very nice. I wouldn't bother with any of the ship's excursions as there are plenty of reputable taxi and tour operators ready to take you around the island. So unless you want something like a specialty such as parasailing, snorkeling, water type sports, if all you want is to see the islands and visit a beach, take a local tour or taxi .... it will save you money. We did this and saved probably $15-20 per person each time we wanted to do this. Plus there are many places from the town where you can walk back to the ship. We thought the cruise director did a fine job ... very upbeat all the time. Whew, that is a tough job. Shelby, the shopping guru puts on a shopping seminar. It is a little much for an hour and the Shopping Book that she makes available for sale is overpriced at $20.00. There is an art auction on board and it can be pricey, but we picked up a couple of beautiful pieces for a very reasonable price which we were happy about. Plus it is a nice thing to do on a sea day when you want to get out of the sun ... and they serve champagne! The casino was fun and we played a little bit .... just enough to say we were there. I saw a few people walk away with a couple of hundred dollars ... lucky them!  The spa is very nice but extremely expensive. They do have port day specials, but still quite high in price compared to what you can get on land. Pool areas are active and the adults only area is really nice and you can meet some very nice people. All in all, it was a beautiful week and I learned a lot about what and what not to do on a cruise. I would definitely do it again someday. It makes you forget about everything and you feel very elegant. Read Less
Sail Date January 2005
Just got back from the Adventure of the Seas and LOVED it! This is my 10th cruise, 3rd with Royal Caribbean. The ship is beautiful! We flew down a day early and stayed at the Howard Johnson for $120 (5 minutes from airport). This was ... Read More
Just got back from the Adventure of the Seas and LOVED it! This is my 10th cruise, 3rd with Royal Caribbean. The ship is beautiful! We flew down a day early and stayed at the Howard Johnson for $120 (5 minutes from airport). This was only hotel available, and I was a little worried, but it turned out ok. Very clean hotel, not in the best neighborhood, great restaurant. Very close to Walgreen's (which was gated, now I knew it wasn't a great neighborhood) where we picked up snorkel gear and coke to bring onboard. It was a 12 minute taxi ride to pier. We were among first 25 people in line. They let us check in after about 10 minutes of waiting. After checking in, we sat down and waited to get onboard. Royal Caribbean provided cookies and lemonade while we waited, which I thought was very nice. After about 45 minutes we were walking onboard!! It was before noon, so we had the whole day on the ship. Our cabins were Promenade rooms. They weren't ready yet, but our cabin steward, Calvin let us put our bags in the closet and we were off to explore! What a beautiful ship! We found our dining room table, which was in a great spot. Then went up to the pool bar. They make the drinks STRONG on this ship! We had sun every day. We loved all the ports, (Aruba & Curacao were new to us). We had a great wait staff (all female, which was very different, but a nice change! We liked the promenade stateroom, although we did miss having a balcony. It wasn't as noisy as I had heard. We slept good. The only thing I wasn't that crazy about was their shore excursions. We did the rhino riders in St. Maarten, which was good, but very expensive. My parents went on a horrible shore excursion, land & see in St. Maarten. All other excursions we did privately and they were much better. After the cruise, we stayed one more night in San Juan, at the Marriott San Juan Stellaris Casino. This was a very nice hotel, with a great Italian restaurant. I wish I could go back on this cruise and relive it, it was wonderful! Read Less
Sail Date February 2005
We cruised on the 2/6 sailing out of Sab Juan. We flew into San Juan on Saturday so as to have time to adjust and also make sure we had enough time to explore OSJ and the ship on Sunday. We arrived at the ship on Sunday at 1 p.m. and ... Read More
We cruised on the 2/6 sailing out of Sab Juan. We flew into San Juan on Saturday so as to have time to adjust and also make sure we had enough time to explore OSJ and the ship on Sunday. We arrived at the ship on Sunday at 1 p.m. and were through check-in and on board by 1:20. I could not imagine a smoother check-in. The longest delay we had was having our picture taken for security. We checked our carry-on bags since the cabin was not ready yet and began to explore the ship. We covered every area possible and had lunch in WJ. The food for such an early time when everything was in a large state of transition from one sailing to another was very good. Unfortunately this was the only time I found paella anywhere on the ship. For paella prepared in a large quantity, it was very good. We actually ate in Portofino the first night. We assumed that since it was the first night of sailing as well as Super Bowl Sunday, there would not be a crowd. We were correct. The only other table was next to us with the cruise director as 2 other ship officers. This was the best meal we had the entire week and the service was superb. I highly recommend Portofino as well as going on the first night of sailing. As a general comment, I thought the overall quality of food in the main dining room was at best average. We were placed at a table with 2 other couples in addition to the 4 of us sailing together. Had we not had so much fun at dinner, we probably would have tried to eat elsewhere during the week. We had pleasant wait staff but they were trying so hard and it was very difficult to understand their heavily accented english. Overall the weather was great during the week. The ship looked fantastic, I did not notice any area that was worn. The people on board were wonderful. I did not notice any of the passenger problems that others have reported. There were people from all around the world including Europe, Latin America and Asia. there were a few notable exceptions that we all expect when we are in a crowd of 3000. Nothing unusual. Our stops in Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten and St. Thomas were great. We did not take any ship organized tours but rather created our own. On Aruba we rented a Jeep and drove all over the island. No road signs, no speed limits and great scenery. Baby Beach is a must do stop. Very small crowds and a wonderful beach even if we made our own road to get there. We did get to the Natural Bridge. While pretty, the trip to and from was better. The people from Aruba (Arubans?) that we met were very nice and friendly. Curacao was an island best viewed from a distance. We were up late in Aruba watching the last parade of Carnival so we slept in a bit and then walked to town. There was trash everywhere and most areas were dilapidated and rundown. We walked around for a couple of hours, went into more shops than I want to again and then went back to the ship in the early afternoon. Lunch there and then sit by the pool. It was amazing to watch the people casually strolling back to the ship after the final horn was sounded at 5. I don't think anyone was left behind, though. The days at sea were excellent. We had plenty of time to lounge by the pool, ignore the wacky antics of the cruise staff organizing the conga lines and get some sun. The entertainment was above average. We had the Drifters on board for one show. They were very good. The two comics were very funny. The ice show is not to be missed. The production shows were OK but at least the sound volume was tolerable. St. Maarten and St. Thomas were wonderful islands to visit. We arranged a daysil trip on St. Thomas that was a fantastic way to end the trip. The only dark spot was getting through the San Juan airport on Sunday. Never again will I leave on Sunday; it would be far better to arrange tio stay an additional day to avoid the crowd. I thought I was in a Third World country. 48,000 people go through the airport on the weekend and it is a mess. There are seats for perhaps 10,000 people. We heard people complaining that they were in the check-in line for over 2 hours. Security is a joke in terms of trying to get through efficiently. All food is in the terminal outside security! Anyway, all in all the trip was great and I would definitely do it again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2005
We sailed on the Adventure of the Seas on February 27th. We went to San Juan a day early just to beat the weather, being from the northeast. This worked out perfectly. Went to the ship around 11:30 am and were able to board by 12:15. Rooms ... Read More
We sailed on the Adventure of the Seas on February 27th. We went to San Juan a day early just to beat the weather, being from the northeast. This worked out perfectly. Went to the ship around 11:30 am and were able to board by 12:15. Rooms were not ready until 2:00 pm. They had plenty to keep us busy. Music was already playing and bars were open! We were very pleased with our stateroom. It was on deck eight and it was a inside cabin that overlooked the Royal Promenade. The room was very quiet considering all the parades and people shopping till all hours of the night. The ship left at 10:30 pm. Day 1 at sea. Weather was great, people were nice, staff were wonderful and accommodating. Day 2 stopped at Aruba, the island is poor but does have a special quality about it. They say "It's One Happy Island", and this could not be more true. Highly recommend the KooKoo Kanukoo open air bus ride. What a blast!!! Day 3 was Curacao. This island was very quaint and clean. Good shopping and very nice beaches. Read somewhere that Curacao was everything that Aruba wasn't. Very true! A must see! Day 4 we were at sea. Again weather was perfect. Spent a lot of time at the pool which was crowded but always able to find a spot to sit. Bar staff were excellent and friendly. This particular night was the Ice Show, and its worth seeing!! Day 5 we stopped in St. Maarten. This by far was mine my husbands favorite. Shopping was incredible. Had a good day shopping and going to the beach which was right when you got off the water taxi. For $10.00 we got 2 chairs an umbrella, and 2 beers and could stay all day if we wanted to. Just a very nice island. I think I would go back and spend a week there. Day 6 St. Thomas. I really didn't care for this island to much. I found it dirty, bums sleeping in the streets, and it smelt like a septic tank. Although very scenic, just didn't do anything for me. Did go to Meagan's Bay beach which was very nice but wouldn't consider it one of the top 10 in the world. Shopping was ok but you sort of felt unsafe between the busy traffic and types of people you saw. Day 7. Had to be out of the rooms by 8:00 am. Windjammer served breakfast till 9:00am. Disembarkation went very smooth and customs also very smooth. I can only say great things about this trip. I only wish that I didn't have to come home. Read Less
Sail Date February 2005
The Adventure of the Seas is an exceptionally beautiful ship. Compared to the Voyager of the Seas, I found the AOS brighter and more colorful. The embarkation process was quick. I recommend the transfers from the pier to the ship. There ... Read More
The Adventure of the Seas is an exceptionally beautiful ship. Compared to the Voyager of the Seas, I found the AOS brighter and more colorful. The embarkation process was quick. I recommend the transfers from the pier to the ship. There was little carrying of luggage to short distances where they were loaded onto trucks for delivery to the ship. The food was excellent as was the dining room and stateroom staff. Our waiter George was from Romania as was most of the dining room staff. They were absolutely magnificent and had a very good command of the English language. This was a major improvement over my waiter and assistant waiter on the Voyager. The food was exceptional as were the drinks. They were both plentiful and readily available. On the Voyager, halfway through the cruise they ran out of white zinfandel. That was inexcusable. Guest relations staff were extremely accommodating and friendly. The entertainment was fair. The quality of the Royal Caribbean singers and dancers was somewhat amateurish. The cruise performers on the Voyager were superb. The entertainment was fair except for "CHARO." She was hilarious and performed classical and Flamenco guitar solos. She is classically trained and studied with the great Andres Segovia. As a former Assistant Principal of Music and a former professional musician I can tell you that she blew me away. The casino is absolutely beautiful but the slots were unfriendly. The Meet & Mingle was a bust as it was on the Voyager. The main issue that I have is the hassle of getting a lounge chair at pool side. There has to be a better system in place that makes it easier and more convenient to make the lounge chairs more accessible for everyone. People were placing towels on the chairs early in the morning and disappearing for hours at a time. There were arguments taking place when people removed the towels and took possession of the vacant chairs. Everything about this ship was top shelf as were the ports. Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten and St. Thomas were most beautiful. Kudos to everyone associated with the Adventure of the seas. I give the Adventure of the Seas and the itinerary 5 stars (a top rating of 6). "BRAVO." Read Less
Sail Date March 2005
I read a lot of reviews before we went on the cruise and I would like to ask those people what ship they went on? This was a fantastic cruise ship. Some of the nicest staff on the sea. In case you wonder if this was my first cruise, nope ... Read More
I read a lot of reviews before we went on the cruise and I would like to ask those people what ship they went on? This was a fantastic cruise ship. Some of the nicest staff on the sea. In case you wonder if this was my first cruise, nope it was about my 7th. We have been on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess and Carnival. This ship was clean, beautiful and fun. The food was really great much better than the last Royal Caribbean we were on. Staff was terrific and entertainment was really nice. Their production shows were not up to their normal excellence, but the main liners were really great! I would really like to try this ship again, we were on a spring break cruise and there were 1000 kids on the ship. But even with that many kids this ship really never feels small. They could use a few more things to do around the ship during sea days, but that said I never even had a chance to see the whole ship. Same old stuff in the shops, although the promenade was really a fun and happening area on the ship. Elevators worked well and we never waited that long for anything. Theater has plenty of seats. As do the dining rooms and the buffet areas. Actually even has lots of pool area seating and I never had problems finding a seat anywhere. Tours were usual and customary we did not try any of the new stuff since we were a group of 6 and really different tastes in tours. My husband did the diving review on the ship and found the dive shop staff wonderful and helpful. He really enjoyed both of his dive experiences. Did I mention friendly staff, they have a great staff. Head waiter was the best we ever encountered on any ship. Captain of the ship came to wish my mom a happy 75th birthday personally! Read Less
Sail Date March 2005
This was the best cruise ship we have ever traveled on. If you have read a negative comment about AOS, forget it. You will be very happy with the results of this ship. I participate in the Roll Call Boards and all of the people I posted ... Read More
This was the best cruise ship we have ever traveled on. If you have read a negative comment about AOS, forget it. You will be very happy with the results of this ship. I participate in the Roll Call Boards and all of the people I posted with agreed that this ship was terrific. We have sailed on the Voyager class ship before, Explorer, in 6/2003. Adventure looks identical except for theme of the decor. Everyone aboard was commenting on how beautiful of a ship this was, and how clean. I observed countless numbers of people cleaning and polishing and pour disinfectant into toilets in the restroom. Our room was kept immaculate by housekeeping with fresh towels and a good cleaning twice a day. RCCL is serious about keeping the ships as germ free as they can. We flew from Los Angeles to Puerto Rico arriving in the mid-day on Saturday before we sailed. We had time to take a nap, swim and eat. We stayed at the Sheraton Old San Juan (Formerly the Wyndam). The hotel has been completely redone since it became a Sheraton. The beds are fantastic! The hotel is not on the beach, but is close to the docks and walking distance to restaurants and old San Juan for shopping. We chose to have lunch in a restaurant across from the hotel (in a connected shopping center) and had Puerto Rican style food that was just great. For dinner we walked around the corner to Senior Frogs and a Yard of Margaritas, plus some food of course! On Sunday we boarded at 12:00 noon with no lines, no waits and no hassles. Everything was smooth. You cannot get your room until 2pm, but the Island Grill/Windjammer is open for lunch. We sat down next to a window and began a terrific week! You have two formal nights on this cruise, one on each of the days at sea. Most people are very dressed on the first night, and still elegant the second, but toned down. The rest of the nights are either casual or dressy casual in the dinning rooms. Portofino's prefers that guests dress dressy casual except on formal nights when they expect formal. Jackets are preferred for men, but not insisted on. You must wear shoes anywhere there is food served. When in the dining room never hesitate to ask for more than one plate of anything or more than one choice. You will be accommodated. Now about the food. We sailed for spring break and had been told that the menu had changed three weeks before. I must tell you that I never, NEVER had a bad meal. Not one thing tasted bad, was under or over cooked, and everything was presented so nicely. I'm a very fussy eater and I never had call to send anything back. No one at our table did either. No one I met or any of the other Roll Callers had a complaint. From the Cafe to the buffet to Johnny Rockets to Portofino, the food was quality, quantity and delicious. About Johnny Rockets: Unless you are Diamond or Platinum Crown & Anc you must pay $3.95 per person to get in. The all the food you could want to eat is yours, except for the Shakes which have a small charge. Portofinos has a cover charge too. The good thing is that you don't have to eat at either one. If you want to it will cost. If it bothers you to pay for extra, then just don't go. The food and service anywhere is the ship is excellent. What about the service? We are talking 5 stars. My water glass was never empty, the staff was kind and very nice, and everyone who works on AOS seems to really like what they do! I wish it was that way here at my office. Ask questions you get a answer with a smile. Need help, they go out of there way to accommodate you. Sitting in the Windjammer, the waiters refill your drinks, carry plates for you and will even go get you another hot dog if you want it. The people who hire for this ship should be commended on the job they have done finding a great crew, training them very well, and providing them with an environment that keeps them happy. Job well done RCCL! Entertainment. The cruise director, Richard Spacy, is a gas. He has such a funny sense of humor and he is everywhere. We saw a salute to the Temptations and Beatlemania. Both were so well done that people were dancing and singing and clapping and screaming! Top notch performances (except that the person doing John Lennon was shorter that John, but that's being very picky!). The comics, magicians and other performers were good too. I'm not much for stage shows, but they were a nice way to end each night. We loved the Ice Show. Being a mom of a figure skater I know this sport very well. It's such a small surface of ice that it makes doing the skating harder, much harder. The skaters did an excellent job of it and the audience was brought to their feet at the end of the show. The costumes, scenery and production quality was extremely well done. Don't miss the ice show. You can skate on the ice during the week if you bring long pants and socks. I recommend mittens too as the mini Zamboni doesn't cut the ice, it just lays water. So the ice can be rough and might irritate your hands. The skating and the Ice shows are free. Ice skates are available if you don't have your own and they do not charge for them. During the day there is so much to do. I know how to fold napkins, towels and do scrapbooking. I've seen the results of bellyflops, slot tournaments and spa treatments. I saw brave rock wall climbers, joggers, golfers, and exercise enthusiasts. I watched from on deck, up high in the Blue Moon Lounge and in the peace of the adult old swim area. I saw kids everywhere having fun, dancing in their disco, parades, circus performances and having the times of their lives just going up and down in the elevators. I went to a cooking demo with the head chef, my hubbie and daughter took tours with the safety director and of the galley, and I sat and watched the water go by on my balcony. I'm very refreshed and had a wonderful time. I can't wait to go again, and I very highly recommend this ship to everyone who wants to have a wonderful Adventure on the Seas! Read Less
Sail Date March 2005
What a great trip!!! We really had a blast and met the best people. I am really busy at work and have to make this short. I'm just going to point out the highlights and low points rather quickly. First of all...I highly recommend ... Read More
What a great trip!!! We really had a blast and met the best people. I am really busy at work and have to make this short. I'm just going to point out the highlights and low points rather quickly. First of all...I highly recommend registering for the meet and mingle. The people we met were great and very friendly and helpful (this was our first cruise and most others were veteran cruisers). We didn't hang out with any of them much, but it was nice to see familiar faces when you're walking around the ship or out and about in the ports of call. Low points: 1. Ketchup...that's right...ketchup. For a cruise that is all deluxe and first class, they give you little packets of ketchup at breakfast for your potatoes. I just thought that was chincy. Give me a bottle or a bowl. And one day they did have bowls of ketchup sitting out on the buffet. 2. The coffee sucks. 3. In one review, someone said that sailing from San Juan was bad, due to the ship "giving away" rooms to the locals for cheap. That the locals were rude and there was a lot of "riff raff". I can see her point. There were A LOT of locals on our ship too. All the announcements were done first in English, and then in Spanish. That does get a little old after about 2 days. But for the most part, there was no bother at all. The rude people we ran into were all English speaking from the 48 states. There were a few. But really no different from everyday life of running into and dealing with your typical jerk here and there. Most people were absolutely great. Seven days and we ran into 3-4 REALLY RUDE people. With 3000 people on the ship...that's not bad. However...I may be more inclined to sail from the states next time...or brush up on my Spanish. 4. Watch what you buy and where you buy it. St Maarten is cheaper than St. Thomas. I bought a camcorder and actually found it for about the same price here in the states. But down there there is no tax, shipping etc. Jewelry is cheaper in the islands...but so is the quality. They say the diamonds are certified...but they certify them a little differently down there. I would NOT spend big bucks ie: engagement ring, etc. Small purchases rings, necklaces, etc should be fine. Just do your homework. Research what you want here in the states and then price it out there. Watches though...seem to be better priced there. However, I wanted to add a bezel and diamond face for my Rolex and the places I checked were WAY over priced for what I can get in the states....once again...DO YOUR HOMEWORK. 5. Book your excursions early...they do fill up. But we found PLENTY to do. 6. The food was more of a high point than a low point. We heard that the food was just exceptional. It was probably better than most meals that I get when I eat at a nice place. But it wasn't exceptional. Maybe I had my expectations set too high. Don't get me wrong..it was GREAT. And lots of it. The food presentation was above what I expected. Some things could of been a bit hotter or more fresh. But not once did we complain or have to send anything back. I gained 5 pounds...so that tells you the food certainly wasn't bad!! High points: 1. Service. Just exceeded everything. Simply the best. Everyone on the ship was great except the workers at the rock climbing wall. They had NO instruction and were not happy campers. They were the ONLY workers that did not exceed service expectations. 2. The food *see above. Lots of food...really, if it sounds like I was complaining about the food. I'm not. When you serve 3000 people a day, they did a GREAT job. 3. Ports of call were great. Beaches were fantastic. 4. Excursions were great. Ship staff is very helpful. 5. On our ship we found the Conisseur Lounge. Cigar bar. Victoria (the host) was the best and the ship did not advertise this lounge. We were the only people in it most of the week. Nice place to hide and relax after dinner. On another review the person said the shows were bad. They were not. Every show was great. I thought the kids would be an issue and they were not. We hardly saw any children all trip and when we did they were very well behaved. RC does a great job of keeping them occupied and out of your way. Mostly adult couples on board. I would of been bummed if I was a single person on this cruise. Carmen (our waitress) at the Duck and Dog (ship bar) was outstanding. Shopping on the ship was great too. We have NO COMPLAINTS about the whole experience. I highly recommend Royal Caribbean and will sail with them again. From what we learned from others on board Royal Caribbean is the best and all other lines come in a distant second place. Tipping!!! I almost forgot. Anyone that sells you anything ie: drinks, cigars etc., gets a 15% gratuity automatically. (Its added to your total when you buy it) For those that get that tip...that is all they earn. They work for tips and room and board. So if you order a large drink order..or just one drink...think about your tip. I tipped a buck or so almost every time once I learned this. I also tipped extra the last night of the cruise for those that served us so well. SUNSCREEN!! Use it early and often. The sun IS different down there. We had spf 30 and it was just enough. We actually ended up getting spf 50 and using that towards the end. The sun will get you!! We had even tanned quite a bit before we went. Have fun. Read Less
Sail Date April 2005
We just got back from a wonderful cruise onboard the Adventure of the Seas (RCCL). Before we departed for this vacation we read some negative and positive comments about this particular cruise departing out of San Juan. Our overall rating ... Read More
We just got back from a wonderful cruise onboard the Adventure of the Seas (RCCL). Before we departed for this vacation we read some negative and positive comments about this particular cruise departing out of San Juan. Our overall rating for this cruise would be 7 out of 10 (very good). We believe you make what you want of your vacation therefore didn't take the negative comments too much to heart. We did not prebook transportation through RCCL and actually found that we saved ourselves some money. Taxi's have regulated fares and it was $10.00 US for two people whilst in a vehicle with 6 others. Embarkation was extremely fast and the agents where fun and friendly in San Juan. Our cabin was an inside cabin near the aft of the ship which was clean and in good condition. You do not leave San Juan until 10pm in the evening so you have a lot of free time getting to see the ship before she sails. It is a little bit strange sailing that late at night however it seems to get the ships atmosphere off to a more softer slower pace as passengers where boarding from early as 1pm and late as 9pm. We sailed to St. Thomas which is a duty free haven for Americans which we are not so we skipped shopping on this island to go spend sometime at Sapphire beach which we recommend over seeing Meagan's Bay the more touristy beach. We rented a scooter downtown which was fun however if you are not an experienced rider we do not recommend it as driving is on the left and the roads are pretty twisty. Also as a note taxi's all have regulated fares and is $3.00 per person from the cruise ship terminal into downtown charlotte Amalie. Traffic can get really bad on this island so if you can do the walk it only takes about 20 minutes and in the afternoon you actually beat the taxi's back to the cruise ship. On to St. Maarten which we have been here twice before and by far is our favorite island. Alcohol and jewelery our very cheap in Philipsburg so we did all our shopping here to get the best deals. There is a water taxi from the port into Philipsburg which is about $3.00 per person. Once again the walk is quite manageable at about 20 minutes into downtown however the roads are not that great. We really stay away from the touristy beaches so we rented a scooter on this island as well which is quite safe and driving is on the right to go to Baie Rouge which is located on the french side of the island. It is much quieter and frequented by locals, there is also washrooms and a restaurant for convenience and the option to rent chairs and an umbrella for a small fee of $15.00 US. If you are looking for something a little different we recommend the Sunset Beach Bar which is located at Maho Beach at the end of the airports runway. You can sit outside and watch airplanes come and go from the airport with the unreal feeling like you are right next to them. It is definitely something to be seen. Next stop was Antigua. We made the sorry mistake of taking a local taxi tour with 3 other couples to see the sites of Antigua. We didn't really see much as our driver had a little bit of a lead foot and stopped only at Shirley Heights for us to take pictures. We drove past Nelson's dockyard and then onto Jolly beach which was quite nice. If you can do an excursion on this island from RCCL you will see more for your money. If you have the time try to do the walk up the hill to St. John's Cathedral which is quite an interesting building and grounds. From here we sailed to St. Lucia which once again we recommend an excursion from RCCL. There is not much to do on this island as it is purely landscape and the most interesting thing is the exceptional Pitons which are the islands twin peaks. Shopping is really good and you don't seem to be hassled by the locals as much as in Antigua. The last port of call was Barbados. This was quickly a favorite with us. We decided to do the 4x4 adventure and Paradise beach excursion through RCCL which was fantastic. We drove through sugar cane plantations, stopped at Bathsheba, viewed the Platinum coast and then did some swimming at Paradise beach. Overall it was a great introduction to the island and after 3 hours we still had enough time in the day to do something else. We took a taxi from the port to the Mount Gay Rum Distillery which is about a 5 minute drive away. Cost was $10.00 US one way and entrance fee for the tour was $6.00 per person which includes rum tasting at the end. If you do this same tour through RCCL it would cost $42.00 per person so you are better off doing it on your own. Disembarkation was quite painless as we where off the ship quickly once our group number was called to disembark. You do clear US customs and immigration once you disembark and then you enter a large room in which you have to try to find your luggage. This is truly the fun part as you have no idea where to start and it is literally a sea of bags (pardon the pun). Once you exit the terminal taxi's are right out front waiting for anyone needing that service and all the prepaid transportation is nicely lined up. Like we said we had a great time on the cruise and RCCL was fun and organized. I would definitely recommend this cruise and the cruise line to anyone. I hope this helps anyone with their travel plans and feel free to email us if you have any additional questions. Read Less
Sail Date April 2005
A little about us: We are an extended family of 14, 7 kids, ranging in age from 3-14, and 7 adults. This is the 6th cruise for two of the passengers, and the 3rd for the rest of the group. Embarkation: We stayed at the Embassy Suites on ... Read More
A little about us: We are an extended family of 14, 7 kids, ranging in age from 3-14, and 7 adults. This is the 6th cruise for two of the passengers, and the 3rd for the rest of the group. Embarkation: We stayed at the Embassy Suites on Saturday night. We arranged for taxi pickup at 10:45 a.m. to take us to the pier. We arrived at the cruise pier around 11 - perfect timing! There was no line. We were able to check-in our family of 14 (7 cabins) quickly. They seated us in the waiting area according to our arrival time, and we were at the back of the first group to board. The wait wasn't bad at all - we watched them load food onto the ship, and dump a case of milk cartons! I guess that's why they have nets beneath the loading platform. We were boarding the ship by noon. Dining: For dinner, we were split into two tables in the Vivaldi Dining Room. Six older kids at one table, and the adults and three-year old at the other. This worked out beautifully. Service was excellent. We especially applaud the head waiter. On previous cruises, we never even knew who our head waiter was. On this cruise, he introduced himself on the first night. A few of the adults mentioned that they especially liked shrimp cocktail and mango. He made sure that we had 2 plates of sliced mango each night. He also provided shrimp cocktail appetizers, even when it wasn't on the menu. For breakfast, we usually ate at the Windjammer - typical breakfast fare, and the menu remains the same all week. The omelet station is recommended, but it can get crowded if you don't go early. Also, they seemed to run out of some foods throughout the week. For example, there were no mushrooms for omelets after the first couple of days. Other days, there was no shrimp, even though it was on the printed menu. We ordered room service breakfast one morning - got a call at 7 a.m. - no orange juice, no French toast, no egg beaters. We wrote in French toast, so I couldn't complain about that; but no orange juice?!? It was a little strange. Lunch was acceptable at the buffet, and excellent the one day we ate in the dining room. Our head waiter convinced us that RCCL was trying out a new program, trying to get people in and out in 30 minutes. Our one sample took us over an hour, but we weren't rushing, and our nephew (14 yrs) was attempting to order two of everything on the menu. :) Our group loved Johnny Rockets, the alternative burger joint. The burgers tasted better than those at the buffet (probably just because they were fresh), and the shakes and malts got high marks as well. Dinner was very good, overall. There was never a meal that we didn't like, and some we loved. As usual, there were no problems getting seconds, or thirds. We were even able to get small portions of some meals, which we were never able to do before. In the past, asking to try something from one dish got you the entire dinner sized portion with all the sides. Public Rooms -- The public rooms were beautiful. This is the biggest ship we've ever been on, but it certainly didn't seem it. Even though the ship was full (or close to it), we never felt the crowds. It was laid out very well, so walking from one end to the other was never a chore. Most other ships had a midlevel deck that does not allow access all the way through. The AoS had this on the 3rd deck, meaning it was easy to cross from one end of the ship to the other from any of the main public areas. The Promenade -- This is the giant mall-like area in the middle of the ship. It looked gorgeous, and had a lot to see. There were (of course) various bars and shops, but also the coffee shop, which served food from early in the morning (pastries) to late at night (pizza, sandwiches, and dessert). This took the place of a midnight buffet (there is only one on this cruise). The food line could get a little crowded at night, but it was always a great place to stop. Coffee and tea are constantly available here, and except for specialty coffee drinks, Ben and Jerry's, and milkshakes, all the food and regular coffee is included. The Bar Scene -- In keeping with the rest of the ship layout, the many bars helped to give this huge ship a cozy, yet never crowded feeling. The bars were everywhere, located in various nooks, and all with a different decor. We never saw one that was mobbed, and were always able to sit down and have a relaxing drink. Our favorites for decor were Jesters (adult night club) and the Aquarium bar. Entertainment -- Maybe we've been on too many cruises, and are tired of seeing the same shows over and over. The comedians especially seem incredibly redundant. Incredibly redundant. Yes, toilets can be scary. Yes, we eat a lot of food on the cruise. Yes, the showers are small. After a while, you feel like you've heard it all before. We sat in the Mezzanine in the back so that we could escape without disturbing the entertainers. We were usually gone within 15 minutes. We didn't even make it to the highly-touted ice show. Activities -- The ship seemed to shift priorities. Past ships focused on the entertainment. On this Voyager class ship, it seemed that the ship was the focus. Sure, they had shows, but we skipped the shows and were never bored. Bars, lounges, basketball court, gym, rock climbing, dancing, miniature golf, 24 hour pools and hot tubs, a movie theater . . . there was something to do for every preference. Fitness & recreation -- The fitness center is phenomenal. There are plenty of treadmills and elliptical for everyone! The view is gorgeous. Although we didn't use it as often as we would've liked, it was fun when we did. And they are pretty good at keeping kids from playing on the machines. Minimum age is 16, and I saw it enforced several times. Cabin -- We had a balcony cabin on deck 8. It was a great location, right in the middle of the ship. We've stayed in inside and outside cabins previously - balcony is the best. The kids were in Promenade inside cabins across from their parents. These are the best inside cabins I've ever seen. At least you have a window, and can view the promenade. It makes the inside cabin a lot less claustrophobic. Service -- The room steward team was excellent, as is typical for a RCCL cruise. Wednesday was my birthday, and she decorated the room with balloons. She also made a person on the bed out of our clothes, sneakers and sunglasses. It was a nice surprise. We had no complaints about the service. Shore Excursions -- We booked all of our own excursions. See below for details. Kids Program -- The older kids (ranging in age from 9 – 14) had mixed feelings about the kids club. They usually went, but rarely stayed the whole time. They were given sign out privileges, which is a nice bonus for the parents. It is obviously harder to hold the interest of teenagers than it is to do so with the younger kids. Still, they made a lot of friends, and usually had a new face to hang out with on the ship. The 3 year old loved the camp, and cried when she had to leave each day. The camp hours made it easy. The kids sat at dinner for the first hour of early seating, and then ran off, leaving the adults to eat at a more leisurely pace. (I am sure RCCL purposely serves the children faster). The Itinerary: Most of the group chose to either stay on the ship or go shopping. My husband and I are divers and adventurous, so we booked all of our own excursions. It was a treat that every port docked rather than tendered. That made it much easier to come and go on as we pleased. St. Thomas -- We booked a dive with Blue Island Divers (http://www.blueislanddivers.com/). They picked us up at the front of the dock. Unfortunately, the AoS was the third ship docked, and we got off at the aft. We wound up walking the length of three cruise ships, each carrying full bags of diving gear. We reckoned it was about ¾ of a mile to walk. Once there, the boat was right on time. We thought the service was good. We had no problems, and they didn’t do anything over the top either. We had two nice dives, and would dive with them again. After, we walked around the shops right at the port. Alcohol, jewelry, and t-shirt shops – repeat as necessary. Saint Maarten -– We planned a family beach day. We did a lot of pre-cruise internet research, and decided on Kakoa beach. We piled into a cab to go to Orient beach (roughly $7 pp). We asked for Kakoa beach, but the taxi driver acted confused and dropped us off at Bikini beach. It turns out, that it is one long beach, with different bars/operators lined up every 50 ft. We walked past Bikini beach and quickly found Kakoa. For the 13 people, we rented two umbrellas and 4 chairs – total price approx $50. We spent most of the time in the water, so we didn’t need that much. The beach is one of the best we’ve ever been on. White sand, calm turquoise water . . . everyone agreed that it was the best excursion. We did see some nudity on the clothed side of the beach, so warn your kids. We returned to the ship around 1, had lunch, and ventured out to do some shopping. We took the water taxi over to the town ($5 pp for all day riding). The town reminded us of old San Juan, with its small streets and mixture of shops. On the way back to the ship, we stopped at Fat Tuesday’s on the pier for a few drinks. Now, we’ve been to New Orleans, and like the FT drinks, and these were not the same – not much variety and not very strong. We also tried a drink at one of the bars in town – not impressed! Antigua -– A non diving day. We booked Eli’s Eco Tour. It was a long day, but a very unique tour. We hiked, snorkeled, rock climbed, and got a tour of the island. We enjoyed this one. This took an entire day, so we didn’t get much of a chance to see the town. There are plenty of reviews of Eli’s tour – it was just as expected. The only disappointment was that we didn’t meet Eli himself. Our solo tour guide was Ebbe, who did a fine job. St. Lucia -– Booked dives with Dive Fair Helen (http://www.divefairhelen.com/). We loved this dive operator. They took such good care of us, from setting up equipment, to personalized dive master attention, to an excellent, hot lunch on the boat. My husband (dive buddy) struggled with equalizing, and took longer than usual to get to depth. Dive Master Grail grabbed my hand and led me around the dive site, while keeping an eye on Steve’s progress. Grail stuck by my side throughout the dive, which gave Steve a chance to take pictures and not worry about being a watchful buddy. I HIGHLY recommend Dive Fair Helen for a tour in St. Lucia. Again, we got back late and didn’t look around the city much. Barbados -– We pre-arranged pickup and with The Dive Shop LTD (http://www.divebds.com). Finding the pickup point can be confusing. If you make arrangements with a private operator, make a left out of the mall area, walk past the cars, and exit the cruise ship customs area. After wandering around in the terminal for a few minutes, we walked outside the terminal, and found Haroon waiting for us. He was nice enough, telling us about Barbados holidays as we drove to the shop. When we arrived, there were 2 people there already, with gear already set up. I felt uncomfortable when I found out that they arrived at the dive shop much earlier, and were basically waiting for us to start diving. I just got the impression that other divers were PO’d that they had to wait until we got there and set-up before they could go diving. The service here was the complete opposite of our experience in St. Lucia. No one spoke to us, or explained anything. We figured out where to get tanks, and set up our gear. When we were finished, we carried our gear across the beach to a small boat. It took about 15 minutes to arrive at the dive site. At some point, everyone started gearing up. Again, nothing was said. The DM gave a short briefing, then jumped in. Before we knew it, the other divers jumped in, and we were (again!) the last two. There was no one there to help us get off the boat and into the water. Usually, the boat captain or another DM will assist. In this case, the captain was up top, and we were left to our own devices. I struggled with my equipment, and wound up aborting the dive because I just did not feel comfortable. We returned to the shop, and got most of our $$ back. We did not do the 2nd dive, and we returned to the ship via taxi. It was a holiday week, so the 3 mile drive took almost an hour! Overall, our diving experience in Barbados was not good. I would recommend either diving with the cruise ship or trying another operator. It was not easy to find a recommended shop on the web beforehand. Overall Experience on AoS -- Overall, we had an excellent vacation. The 5 island itinerary probably wasn’t the best for a large family. They most likely would have liked a private island or two, but the ship had enough to do to make up for it. The food was good, the service excellent, and the ship itself spectacular. We have never done the same ship twice, but wouldn’t hesitate to book a Voyager class ship again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2005
Embarkation: Our direct Continental flight from Newark, NJ arrived at approximately 10:30 am. We arrived at the port via taxi (approximately $17.00 for 2 people by 11:15 am). There are plenty of taxis available, don't take the bus. ... Read More
Embarkation: Our direct Continental flight from Newark, NJ arrived at approximately 10:30 am. We arrived at the port via taxi (approximately $17.00 for 2 people by 11:15 am). There are plenty of taxis available, don't take the bus. You have to wait around and it's more expensive than a cab. The cab fare is agreed upon and documented before you leave the airport. No negotiation is necessary. It's about a 15 minute drive. We were on the boat and in our rooms by 12:00 noon. Embarkation was a breeze -- no complaints here! We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the boat, eating lunch, and unpacking. Our luggage arrived before dinner, but it's a good idea to pack a few items in your carry on so you can freshen up and get changed into new clothes. Some people did not receive their luggage until later that evening. Staff: Everyone was extremely friendly, helpful, and willing to do anything to please. Many of the people were wonderful and we were hugging goodbye and taking photos at the end of the cruise. They easily deserve a 6 out of 6 rating. Agenda: Boat departed San Juan on Sunday night at 10 pm. We visited St Thomas on Monday, St Maarten - Tues, Antigua - Wed, St Lucia - Thurs and Barbados - Friday, followed by a day at sea on Saturday. We were at each island from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm. Returned to San Juan on Sunday. This was a fantastic agenda. We spent enough time at each port and were able to explore many of the islands. Here's a brief bio on what we did at each port: St Thomas: Went to Magen's Bay. 20 minute drive / transportation available near the ship. It was ranked as one of the top 10 beaches in the world (it's nice, but I don't necessarily agree). It was a relaxing day at the beach. A perfect way to start a vacation. The water is clear and calm. Beach gets very crowded in the afternoon, so it's worth the 5-10 minute walk to get away from the crowd. There isn't much to do here besides hang out and catch some sun, but it is very beautiful. St Maarten: Went out on our own jet skiing at the Great Bay Resort, a 10 minute cab ride from the boat. I would recommend going to the Divi Little Bay Resort instead - it looked a lot nicer. It was fun to jetski within viewing distance of the cruise ship. We felt like the people on the RC commercial - zooming on their jetskis near the ship. It was a fun day. No one from the resort seemed to mind that we came to their beach and used the facilities. Seemed like a laid back place. It is the middle of a renovation though. Antigua - Went on a snorkeling & kayak eco-adventure & booked through Royal Caribbean. (Website: http://www.antiguapaddles.com/) The people who ran the tour were amazing and very knowledgeable about the island. Make sure you are fit and healthy to go on this tour. It required a lot of physical exertion. (hiking, swimming, and lots of paddling!) But a lot of fun. St. Lucia - We didn't have anything planned that day, but met a man selling this tour in the port area. He was holding a sign with beautiful pictures of the island. We took a chance and went for $50.00 per person. (We think they sold this through the ship for $80+ per person) Went on a boat to visit a waterfall, the Pitons, an active volcano, and Marigot Bay. They also took us further out into the ocean to look for dolphins. About 15-20 dolphins "played" with us while we circled them. They did flips and tricks and looked like they were having so much fun! The dolphin visit alone was worth the $$. A great way to see all of St Lucia in a few hours. Barbados - Our favorite island and tour by far. (I visited Barbados before and did a Jeep 4x4 tour. A great way to see the whole island in a half day.) This time, we did a snorkeling and catamaran trip, booked through Royal Caribbean. (The tour was called Ocean Adventures -- http://oceanadventures.bb/) We snorkeled with the turtles, saw a shipwreck, and docked at a beach. The turtles were amazing to see and touch. The shipwreck had thousands of beautiful fish. The sand was like flour and had the cleanest water ever! Best of all, we were close to the ship and didn't require a lot of driving time (less than 5 minutes). The boat (Silvermoon 2) was gorgeous! They also do private charters for large groups. I highly recommend! Food: The food was better than I imagined. The only disappointment was the lobster -- it was not a high quality. We enjoyed all of the meals and there was plenty of variety. We went to Johnny Rocket's once during the trip. Our bill was about $15.00, similar to what we would normally pay at home! There was never really a line to eat there. Alcohol: One word -- expensive. Try to sneak some on the ship. Our dinner table mates did it with no problem. An absolute and cranberry was $6.84 each. Two daiquiris were $16.00. We definitely held back from drinking due to the high price. They charge a $12.00 corking fee on top of the price for a bottle of wine. Other passengers: I was a little scared from other posts about how the other passengers might behave. The only problem we encountered were spoiled, rude American children who were unsupervised. Parents, please watch your brats! I imagine that the parents let them wreak havoc because they are on a boat and would never get lost. I would have liked to see more couples our age (20s and 30s), but the main population were families and seniors. Kids were pushing to get on elevators and were waking people up in the quiet adults only pool area. Overall: We had an excellent time and would love to cruise again. It was wonderfully relaxing and I would consider cruising again in a heartbeat. RC staff were excellent. Don't miss the ice show! All of the facilities were well kept, clean and comfortable. The ship really became our home away from home. It was easy to navigate, no sea sickness. The beds weren't the best, but we always got a great night of sleep. The best part of this cruise was the agenda and the islands we visited. We had a lot of time in port versus the other ships. Complaints: Drink prices (soda is not included and you have to purchase a soda package for $41.00 per person). Good news is that you get juice for free at breakfast, iced tea and lemonade for lunch/dinner. If we knew that, we wouldn't have purchased the soda package. Rock wall and ice skating were open for VERY limited hours and usually had to sign up beforehand. SPA prices were insane. I am used to NJ/NYC prices, but these were even higher. Even the "specials" were overpriced. To play BINGO it was $35.00 per session. (5 games / 6 punch cards per game) Royal Caribbean is definitely making out on this deal & are pocketing most of the $$. SEA DAY: I am very happy there was only one day at sea -- couldn't find a deck chair that day and the people were packed in the pool like Sardines! Any other day it was easy to find a chair & the pools were pretty empty. CASINO: To all the gamblers out there - DON'T play blackjack on the cruise. The other players have NO idea what they are doing and will completely mess you up. Basic strategy was no where to be found. We lost many hands the first two days and stopped playing. Play a game where other players stupidity won't hurt you! We did pretty well on craps and Caribbean stud poker. Have fun on your cruise and please feel free to email me if you have any questions! You can book this cruise and be confident that you'll have a great time. Believe me -- we didn't want to leave for home! Email: icicle1420@aol.com Happy cruising! Read Less
Sail Date April 2005
This was the 2nd time cruising on Adventure of the Seas. We went May 15- 22. It is truly a beautiful ship. My family had gone on our first cruise 3 years ago almost to the day but different itinerary. This time we went to Aruba, Curacao, ... Read More
This was the 2nd time cruising on Adventure of the Seas. We went May 15- 22. It is truly a beautiful ship. My family had gone on our first cruise 3 years ago almost to the day but different itinerary. This time we went to Aruba, Curacao, St Maarten & St Thomas. A much better itinerary than the St Lucia, Barbados & Antigua one (much poorer islands). Don't waste your time getting off the ship in Antigua very dirty, seedy and everybody and their mama will try to braid your hair, sell you a necklace or give you a cab ride. I had done a snorkel tour and it sucked!!! The guide was even trying to sell me necklaces. The water was rough & cloudy. I love to snorkel and I couldn't wait to get back on the boat. Here's what I noticed this time around. Positives: The food is like a million times better. They have a new head chef. The service is very excellent. The waiters & assistant waiters are very attentive and friendly. Embarking & disembarking were a breeze. Don't miss the mid-night Chocolate buffet. It is worth seeing and was a lot more elaborate this time. They have a lot of non chocolate foods. Cheese, caviar, bread, shrimp, deviled eggs etc. Don't miss Spectrum. It's a Motown show. Excellent. All the shows were great and don't miss the parades in the Promenade. They are a lot of fun too. Negatives: They now charge a fee at Johnny Rockets. No more shake of the day. It is pretty much the same every day. No band playing classical music/broadway music at dinner in the main dinner room. A lot of white trash drunk people. During dinner, they was a very large table from Texas. Every night, they were very loud and annoying. One woman had this loud, high pitched fake sounding laugh. This woman never stopped laughing probably b/c she was always drunk. On the first formal night, the men at the table thought that meant wearing a collared shirt. The women were real ladies. One started screaming at the top of her lungs that she won the f--ken bingo cruise. This was at dinner in the Mozart dining room. I have read other reviews that complaint about the large Puerto Rican groups on the ship. Yes, there are a lot of Puerto Ricans on the ship b/c it leaves from San Juan. I have never experienced a problem. I'm a New Yorker so being around a large group of Puerto Ricans isn't anything new for me. The first time I was on the ship I thought I lost an earring near an elevator. A Puerto Rican who didn't speak English. Got down on her hands and knees and helped me look and find it. Which is more than I can say for the white trash drunks! Islands & Excursions Aruba - My favorite island. Did the snorkeling tour by the WWII shipwreck. I highly recommend this excursion. It is very cool and the barbecue lunch is great. They literally hand you a plate as soon as you get off the catamaran. My mother who doesn't snorkel went on the tour with me and she had a great time! You also get to swim on the beach after lunch. Great beach. My husband and father played golf at Terra del Sol. A very hard course. Not well kept. My husband lost 12 out of the 15 balls he had. If you hit off the fairway, forget about finding your ball. It is very hot and hard to see the greens. The flags are red & blue and a difficult to see b/c the rocks are red and the sky is blue. Don't waste your time & money. Curacao- We did the fun beach excursion. It was fun but be warned that the bus is a decorated school bus with no air conditioning. It is not the shortest ride or most comfortable ride. Curacao is a wanna be Aruba. The people are very friendly but from what I saw it isn't as nice of a place as Aruba. They do not have a lot of pretty beaches. The beach we were on had a lot of locals. I ran into a couple that signed up for the sea lion excursion and it was canceled due to mating session. The beach excursion was fun. The beach was very pretty but small. Shopping in Curacao -- It was extremely hot when we were there. We were parked at the end of the pier. The Disney ship was parked closer. Bring comfortable walking shoes b/c it is a very far walk to the shopping area. There is this small bridge that swings when boats come into the harbor. The main shopping area is across the harbor. Sometimes the bridge swings when people are on it. It is safe but annoying. They also have a free ferry but it gets very crowded very soon. Not for the claustrophobic. St. Maarten - I love this island. I highly recommend the America's Cup Sailboat Racing tour & the Lottery Treetop excursions. We did the treetop excursion on this cruise. It was my favorite excursion. You go up 15 to 20 feet and zip line from tree to tree. It is tiring but a lot of fun. The French side of the island is a million times nicer than the Dutch side. The ship will port on the Dutch side. Shopping is very good here. They take US dollars and will give you US prices. I was a little afraid that we would have a problem with the exchange rate since they use Euros. This was not a problem at all. St. Thomas - I did the BoB underwater excursion. It was very cool but be warned that if you sign up for this excursion you will not be actually doing the Bob for the entire tour. They only have 6 of the underwater scooters. We took turns and snorkeled in the meantime. Unfortunately there were no fish b/c the tour guide feeds them by the Bobs which is 30 feet down. The toughest part of doing the Bob is getting into it b/c your wearing a life vest. It pulls you up when you try to go down. Once your in, its very cool but everything looks distorted. The coral reed will look like your right next to it when you actually have room. We had a lot of fun on this tour. Last time I was here we did the Turks Bay on St John's excursion. That was a beautiful beach. We had a great time. I definitely also recommend this tour. On the Ship -- If you want to make a spa appointment, get over there as quickly as possible. The line to make an appointment was longer & much slower than the line to embark on the ship. They now offer cellulite & teeth whitening. I opted for a stone massage & pedicure. If you sign up for spa service the day you set sail they will knock off $20. They will also lower the price further if you buy any of the lotions or oils they sell. The massage was great. The pedicure was all right. It was happy that I could get a French pedicure. Do not expect to get the same quality pedicure that you get at your local salon b/c it isn't going to happen. They sell this book for $20 and it has all these coupons for free stuff at different ports. You get a free bracelet from Diamonds International and free charms at every port. Del Sol will also give you free stuff: a beach bag that changes color, a tee shirt that changes color & plastic rings that change color (a each port you have coupons). There are also special deals if you spend a certain amount they will knock off $100 or $50. No price is set in stone. In Aruba, my mother bought me a beautiful gold bracelet for my birthday. She was able to get the salesman to know off $50. I would recommend this cruise for anyone. You can do as much or as little as you like. They have 3 main pools: the main pool with 4 Jacuzzis (where the Bellyflop & Mens sexy leg contest). They usually always have a Caribbean band playing. The Solarium pool. No kids allowed. No music slightly glass enclosed. A lot quieter. The kiddy pool in a different section of the ship. Good news if you're a Crown & Anchor member they give you a gift certificate package with free coupons for Johnny Rockets, free 10 minutes of internet access & a ton of other cool stuff. In a nutshell, I miss the ship and wish I was on it now. I would go on it a third time. Read Less
Sail Date May 2005
This was our 7th cruise with Royal Caribbean. We sailed the Adventure of the Seas on May 22, 2005. We had a great time. Sailing with me were my two daughters, ages 21 and 19 and my husband. We are in our late 40's. This was 3rd ... Read More
This was our 7th cruise with Royal Caribbean. We sailed the Adventure of the Seas on May 22, 2005. We had a great time. Sailing with me were my two daughters, ages 21 and 19 and my husband. We are in our late 40's. This was 3rd Voyager class ship. We had also been on The Voyager and The Explorer. We love cruising and will cruise again! Embarkation- We had an early flight from Newark, NJ Airport to San Juan. We were on the ship by 12:00. It was a breeze. We enjoy the perks of being Platinum members. We enjoyed when we were the first to be off the ship coming from a private departure lounge. It made the horror of ending your cruise not as bad as it can be. The Ship - Adventure of the Seas was very nice. It showed a little wear and tear. My husband and daughters love the Promenade. They enjoyed the "Duck & Dog" and the Cafe Promenade. I sometimes miss seeing the sea as I can do on the Serenade of the Seas that has a lot more windows. The Food - The food for the most part was good. We ate all of our breakfasts in the Windjammer. Husband and I had breakfast on our balcony one morning which was nice. Lunches were ok. Dinner was pretty good. We are not picky eaters. The food is not gourmet but it is fine. We enjoyed prime rib, lobster, and all the selections for appetizers. The deserts are always a favorite. The Service - The service was very good on this cruise. Our waiters and stateroom attendants were very good. Did have one problem with my daughters stateroom attendant though. They were in an inside room down the hall from us. On one night I had to call housekeeping when there room wasn't made up until after 10:30 p.m. I think they take advantage of the fact they were both young adults and no "mom & dad". The Weather - The weather was excellent. Nice sunny weather in the high 80's. We have sailed a lot in November and we really enjoyed this trip more as we didn't have 1/2 rain as we would often experience in November. The Shows - This is one thing I am going to complain about. We always enjoyed all the shows on our previous cruises. This cruise lacked good entertainment. While we enjoy the singer, Jimmy , in the "Duck & Dog", we thought all the shows fell short of being good. We also didn't like how they didn't have much island music around the pool. The Ports - We have been to St. Thomas 3xs so decided to take ferry to St. John. We enjoyed Trunk Bay. It was beautiful. We loved the snorkel trail. But it take a long time to get there. It was approximately 1 1/2 hours of travel from the ship to the ferry. Then take taxi to Trunk Bay. I am glad we went but would hesitate to spend this much time on the next cruise. We loved Sapphire Beach more the Meagan's Bay and would probably go back there. Next stop St. Martin where we stayed on the ship. Antigua we went to Dickenson's Bay that was really nice. Had lunch at restaurant right on beach. The next day was St. Lucia when we decided to stay on ship. We enjoyed this for the first time having the ship to ourselves. We enjoyed stopping at Malibu Beach in Barbados. We love our days at sea and enjoy the pool activities. We loved our cruise and wish we were still sailing away.. Very hard to get back to reality. Will be looking to sail again with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date May 2005
My husband and I celebrated our 40th anniversary on this cruise. Most of the people who worked were wonderful and friendly, trying to make it as enjoyable for the cruisers as possible. Couldn't have asked for better service. Our cabin ... Read More
My husband and I celebrated our 40th anniversary on this cruise. Most of the people who worked were wonderful and friendly, trying to make it as enjoyable for the cruisers as possible. Couldn't have asked for better service. Our cabin was ready for us each night with a piece of candy on our pillows and a cute animal made out of our towels. The cruisers on this ship were varied in nationalities. There were over 200 people from Puerto Rico, otherwise with the remaining 3000 people were from different countries. Only 200 children on this cruise. Cpt. Remos stated this was the smallest amount of children on the cruise since its first sailing. Our idea of wonderful cuisine is eating at Applebees. So, for our opinion, the food was fabulous. Something different and unusual each night that we have never tried before. Now for my soap-box... This is just my opinion... But, for those that state that the food was horrible, or that you were tired of being pushed around by rude people from Puerto Rico, or whatever your complaints were, next time try looking for the positive. You have one ship, over 3000 people being cruised from one port to another, and eating every night. It would be very difficult to make everyone happy all of the time. For me, I would have to look very hard to find anything to complain about. Try looking at the positive instead of the negative. If you a food Connoisseur, don't expect gourmet food every time you eat. Be happy that you are being fed, imagine taking this cruise back in the 1800's... Couldn't have been a wonderful time then. For me, I am very thankful to have this opportunity to go. Maybe in five years my hubby and I can take our adult kids along with, but until that time, I will remember the wonderful time we had and the wonderful new friends we met along the way. Read Less
Sail Date May 2005
Adventure of the Seas was our first cruise experience. We were not disappointed. The service, from stateroom attendant to dining room waiters to purser's desk was really first-rate. This ship is SO huge. We never felt like we were ... Read More
Adventure of the Seas was our first cruise experience. We were not disappointed. The service, from stateroom attendant to dining room waiters to purser's desk was really first-rate. This ship is SO huge. We never felt like we were with a crowd. The ride was rock-solid. Perhaps we were blessed with exceptional weather. I only remember feeling rain twice and those were sea days. It was actually somewhat refreshing. I timed the checkin period. From taxi dropoff to free-roaming the ship took 45 minutes. Our interior stateroom was ready as advertised (2 p.m., I believe) and was quite comfortable for our week-long journey. Being an interior room and having no windows allowed us to recharge our jet-lagged bodies that first night. In fact, I was quite surprised to wake up at 9 a.m. on our first sea day and it felt like I had been sleeping for days. I had to trust my watch to confirm what time and day it happened to be. Safety muster was not prolonged and the first dinner in the dining room was quite a treat. If I have to choose my top cruise-related rave, it has to be the fine dining. At home, we treat ourselves to fine dining only a few times per year. On this cruise, we were treated like royalty on seven of seven nights! Our waiters Raphael and Leilani were just the BEST. Head waiter Gregorio also excelled. On lobster night, Raphael sent my plate back to the kitchen because it didn't meet his standards. To my surprise, I was treated to not one, but two lobster tails... for putting up with the inconvenience for waiting... what?... three more minutes! Ports were fun. We chose to arrange our own fun, hitting Arashi Beach, Aruba (best bus service); Jan Thiel Beach, Curacao; Cinnamon Bay, St. John (best snorkeling). We also taxi toured St. Maarten. Ever seen how a cashew grows? Have a taxi driver stop at a convenient tree and pick one for you. You will be surprised at the elaborate fruit that accompanies every single cashew nut. We were also impressed at the amount of maintenance and late-night cleaning of the ship. There were several nights when we saw the pools drained and completely pressure washed. Also witnessed glove-handed maintenance people wiping down oft-touched surfaces, such as door knobs, chairs, etc. This is an awesome ship and I would happily recommend this voyage to anyone. We must do it again. There was so much to offer that we couldn't possibly have done everything. Read Less
Sail Date June 2005
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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