Sail Date: June 2010
This was a 4 night cruise from Barcelona to Toulon and Ibiza (Saturday overnight at port). We are a family of 4. My 2 kids are 3.5 year old twins. I did cruise when I was a child with my parents (on the Eugenio C and Royal Viking Sky) ... Read More
This was a 4 night cruise from Barcelona to Toulon and Ibiza (Saturday overnight at port). We are a family of 4. My 2 kids are 3.5 year old twins. I did cruise when I was a child with my parents (on the Eugenio C and Royal Viking Sky) but this was my first modern cruise with my family as an adult. My wife had never cruised before and thought cruises were boring, plus she was afraid of sea sickness. So, this January while looking for summer vacation offers, I found what looked like a good deal for this 4-night cruise. It fell on a holiday weekend, so it seemed like a perfect opportunity to check on cruising. I talked my wife into it, and booked it directly from the RCCL page. Special pricing for kids was the cherry on the cake. Living in Madrid, we tried to use the "Puerto de Atocha" service, only to find that it was not very well understood by Royal Caribbean travel agent nor by Renfe. In theory, it will give you a discounted price on the train to Barcelona, but it is not as cheap as buying a standard ticket online. It should also allow you to check-in your luggage in Madrid, a convenience I was willing to pay for. But the RCCL agency could not get us the tickets and told us to buy directly at RENFE, who on their side were not aware of such service at all. In the end, we bought a standard train ticket on the web and carried our luggage to Barcelona. We arrived at port around 12:00 PM. It was peak boarding at that time. There were lines for luggage drop (under the hot sun) and lines for security control (partly covered). And then, huge line inside for checking-in. We waited more than one hour until we got our sea pass cards and were told that we could proceed directly to the cabin. Before boarding, we did a quick stop at the duty-free in the port and were given the colored plastic bracelets for the kids. These bracelets allow the ship personnel to identify and bring them to our evacuation station in case of emergency (in case the kids are not with us at such time). We entered the ship and were not given any instructions on how to go to our cabin. We went to deck 2 only to find that the deck is cut into 2 non-communicated areas. And our outside cabin was on the other side, for sure. So, we went up to deck 5 as we were told the reception was there. I had read about the Royal Promenade and knew what to expect, but while we walked through it, my wife was in awe. It suddenly hit her that this cruise would be something unexpected. The wow factor had set in. Our outside cabin was ready. It was small, but perfectly ok. The bathroom surprisingly roomy. We left our things and decided to go for lunch, as it was already 2 o'clock. But we decided to pass on the Royal Promenade again, as I wanted to buy my Unlimited Soda package. We also wanted to check the wines, but decided not to go for it, as 3 bottles seemed too much for only 3 nights we planned do eat on the MDR. For the kids, we decided on lemonade as it was healthy and free. This ended up being a very good choice, as most waiters would give them coke, if they wanted, on my unlimited soda account. We went to the WindJammer for lunch. What a beautiful place, with gorgeous views of the port and city. However, getting a table was impossible. We asked a waiter and he shrugged. No tables were available, there was nothing he could do. We had to look for people about to leave and secure a table, trying to outsmart other people on the same situation (looking for tables like us). The WindJamer cafe is one of the most popular places on the ship and it should be twice as big. Really. It is very stressful to get a table at peak time on lunch and this situation repeated during the entire trip. The food buffet was quite good, although not sophisticated. Burgers, french fries, pasta, salads and more. Everything tasted good and was uncomplicated eating. Specially good for my kids. They even got Shepard's Pie that they love. I liked the Sushi but also tried a little bit of everything. During our trip, we ate breakfast and lunch in the WindJammer every day. At night, we ate at the main dining room. We were seated with a Spanish family and they were enthusiastic to see us and the kids every night. The food there was quite good actually. Not the best gourmet food in the world, but who cares. I have read some comments here of people who didn´t like the food, but can´t understand why. There was always choice and most of what I tried was perfectly ok, served hot and tasted good. The service was really great and the servers were always there for us. When my kids didn´t eat the pizza, they brought another dish. We got a bottle of wine that lasted and was served through the entire trip. One night we decided to check the Johnny Rockets. I have mixed feelings about this one. While the place was cool (a bit empty the night we were there), the burger was soaked in oil. The paper wrapping the sandwich was so wet with oil that it stick to the bread. I don't know if this is standard Johnny Rockets fare, but to me it was a bit disgusting. The Milk Shake we ordered for the kids was nothing special either (but not bad). But my kids loved to see the waiters dancing and in no time they were up and trying to follow the dance as well. We spent a lot of time on the pool with the kids. The pools were kind of small, one of them was reserved for adults. But they were perfectly ok. The pool area is usually crowded, but there is always some place to sit (sometimes very far from the pool itself). It has a bar that only serves drinks and is always crowded. I would love to see some tapas served there as well. This is surely missing and a suggestion for RCI. Please, give us a pool bar that serves some food. Some people would bring food from the WindJammer and sit on tables by the pool deck. Of course, if you don´t get the tables early they are never available. To be honest, I was disappointed with shopping in the ship. The stores on the Royal Promenade had lots of jewelry and also perfumes/cosmetics. They were not duty free, which kinds of defeat the purpose of these stores (I understand that in most cruises they are tax free, but not in the European Union cruises). Non residents could reclaim VAT though. The souvenirs on the souvenir shop were dull. I expected more and would surely had bought a lot of trash (I always do). But it didn´t have anything that caught my attention. They should check real souvenir stores around the globe to get interesting items. Stores like Why!!! in Paris or even VIP's in Madrid have lots of interesting trash. My kids wanted chewing gum and it was not available. Also, I forgot to bring razors and they only sold a pack of 6 horrible BIC razors. We did enjoy the overall feeling of the promenade though. The cafes and the people watching, the parades and the parties. We spent a lot of time there. We used the Adventure Ocean program for our kids. And they loved it. We went on 2 off-ship tours alone, leaving the kids playing. When we were planning the cruise, the kids program really helped us decide to go for it, as we needed some time for us alone. Having a place with supervised activities for the kids has become a requirement for our vacations. And it is the reason we are going to do it again and again. Pirate night was the most amazing thing. My kids loved to invade (parade through) the Royal Promenade. They still talk about it today. I have it on video, and they want to watch it again and again. Not to mention that they want me to buy pirate costumes for them. We did run into a number of minor issues that I think should not have happened. They will not prevent us to come back, but I do hope that RCI will improve on them. The first one was related to our pre-booked (and paid) tour of Bormes Le Mimosa in Spanish. This was programmed on day 2 of our trip. I got a call on day 1 evening (phone message) and a card in my room telling me that the tour had been cancelled for lack of interest. I went to the Explorer´s desk and was told that only the English tour to Bormes would happen. So I told him to book us there. In fact, I thought they should have just transferred us to this tour first, and later give us the option to cancel if we didn´t speak English. Well, of course we do, but the person in the Explorer´s desk was unable to book us in the tour. He told me it was full, sorry. I was quite unhappy, thought about taking the bus to Toulon instead, but decided to check from my room later the other tours available. And there, the surprise. We were able to book the Bormes tour though the TV system (the same one I was told was full). The next day, on the bus, there were at least 10 empty seats. And the tour was in both Spanish and English. Our second issue happened when we wanted to leave the kids on the Adventure Ocean for the first time in order to leave the ship for the tour. They are small kids, 3.5 years old. When we were going to drop them off, they started crying. Well, really, I think that every kid of this age will cry the first time they go to an unknown place and their parents leave. I've seen this happen at first day at school, at day care centers, at skiing clubs, even at their grandmas home. But we were told that we could not leave the kids if they were crying. Now, I understand this policy for older kids. But really, for 3 year old kids? I am sure that every kid will cry for 5 minutes and then will play. Anyway, we spent one hour trying to calm down our kids, but in the end, after almost losing our tour, we called the supervisor who let them in crying. Later he told us that in five minutes after we left they were playing. Obviously. I think this policy should be revised for smaller 3-5 year old kids. The third issue was at the end of the cruise. The last evening, I checked my bill on TV and everything was ok. We were leaving the next morning at 8:00 AM. So, everything went smooth, but before leaving I grabbed the printed bill that was slid under the door in the early morning and found out I had been charged US$ 70,00 for pool towels. Well, we had taken new towels every day, and every day before we left the pool we gave them back at the towel station. All towels. So, I went to the reception to complain. There was a huge line, but I waited. A few minutes later, a woman came out and asked if anyone on the line had billing problems. About 10 people, I included, raised their hands. She said "Towels?". And we all replied "Yeah" in a chorus. Seems like that they do not have the towel issue well controlled. She proceeded to remove the charge for everyone of us, but I wonder how many people only noticed too late that they had been charged. Honestly, I hope RCI improves this methodology so they don´t keep mistakenly charging people like this. Other annoyances we found was that the speaker system announcements on the corridor that could be heard from the room. There is an in-room switch to turn off announcements, but it doesn´t help, as we can hear from outside. On day 2, announcements started at 7:00 AM when the ship docked in Toulon and they repeat it in 100 languages (maybe 4 or 5). Also, when cruising, there was a constant vibration in the room that was quite perceptive. It did not prevent sleep, but was annoying. I don´t know if this is specific to our room location (deck 2, aft) but we felt it in other places on the ship as well (specially strong on the Main Dining Room). But don´t get me wrong. These issues were really small compared to the amount of good time, relax, enjoyment and happiness we got from this small trip. My wife, who did not want to cruise before, came back asking me to book another cruise this year. And she told me that she wanted to go on the same ship for at least 7 days. We loved the service on the ship. Even with the issues I mentioned above, I have to say that they were all solved in the end. And the waiters were great to us and to our kids. And the cabin guy was also very nice and efficient. Our room was always ready and cleaned. He helped us on everything we needed and quickly. We tipped extra to everyone of them. Bottom line, we are planning our next cruise already. With RCI again. My wife wanted to go on the same ship, but I am trying to convince her to switch to the Liberty of the Seas next year. Prices are higher, so we will see. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2010
We booked a 5 night med cruise with cruise 1st for June 2010 on the Adventure of the Seas, sailing from Barcelona. Itinerary Barcelona, Nice, Sardinia, Sicily and back to Barcelona. We are an English couple in our early fifties and have ... Read More
We booked a 5 night med cruise with cruise 1st for June 2010 on the Adventure of the Seas, sailing from Barcelona. Itinerary Barcelona, Nice, Sardinia, Sicily and back to Barcelona. We are an English couple in our early fifties and have cruised before. The ship its self is breath taking in design, clean, modern, luxurious with a definite wow factor. The facilities are very good, plenty of choice for food and drink, enough sun beds even on days when every body is there (Sea Days) although we did have fun watching the different nationalities fighting over the ones in the best positions. The Royal Promenade with its "pavement cafes" English pub, Bar and shops is quite amazing with fantastic attention to detail, the beautiful "twister" sculpture and sweeping staircases, scenic elevators all just add to the wow factor of the ship its self. The Casino, themed to be a movie theatre in the thirties complete with glass floor encasing Dorothy's ruby slippers, the emerald city in the centre of the roulette wheel and other clever and interesting movie memorabilia is also well designed and fun area. There's a huge theatre, an ice rink (don't miss the ice show, its brilliant) and the formal dinning room which brings to mind the interior of the Titanic, as I said when it comes to attention to detail and luxury the design of the Adventure Of The Seas is top notch. But I'm afraid that is where the Wow ends. We boarded at 12 noon and as the rooms were not ready we were sent to the "Windjammer" buffet to enjoy lunch, there is always a large selection of food here, but unfortunately I choose Paella and with in three hours I was violently ill, not a good start. The stateroom (standard inside cabin, cheapest) was of a good design, clean and with everything you'd need. Shower quite big enough, plenty of storage for everything, fridge, T.V. with some film channels enough choice for most people and a pay per view option (we did not use), hair dryer, ice bucket (replenished often), fresh white towels (that arrive in the evening in the shape of cuddly toys on the bed-nice fun touch),rock hard bed but with good quality bedding (we both found bed too hard, unusual for me), air con that wasn't cold enough (even on full blast), laundry service, room service all the things you'd expect. We had no problems with the cabin or the staff who serviced it and left a generous tip. The entertainment-it is difficult on a ship carrying 30 different nationalities to organise suitable entertainment we understand this, language is going to be a huge problem. On board English is the first language and Spanish second with every one else pretty much uncatered for, the cruise director was obviously chosen for her linguistic ability and NOT for her entertainment skills which were limited. We were disappointed with the entertainment except for the absolutely fabulous ice show which is a must see, and it was disappointing that despite all the tickets for the shows being taken up people simply did not use them and the ice skaters played too quarter empty houses. (The shows are free but due to limited space by ticket only). Food-Except for the aforementioned paella the food on board was good, breakfast which we had in the Windjammer was presented as a great choice from a buffet, as much as you wanted and a great variety. Fruit juice, Tea and coffee were also served but here was our second bad experience, one morning a waiter poured hot coffee all down me as he reached over me to pour it for my husband. Soaking my white top and trousers with hot coffee. He looked shocked but did not apologise, I had to rush off and change, the ship did launder my clothes but no apology was had. In the evening we started the cruise eating in the main dining room, waiter service and delicious food, but we found the waiter so pushy trying to sell us wine (we don't drink), huffing when we didn't order his suggestions but made our choice from the menu and trying to get us to order "upgrade" food that was chargeable that after three nights we gave up on the restaurant and swapped to the Windjammer where you serve yourself from the self service buffet, which offered more choice and with no pressure. You could never go hungry on a cruise and this one was no exception. Drink - Tea and coffee are available free most of the time with soft drinks at breakfast and lunch, but for all other drinks you pay with your "sea card" which is linked to your debit or credit card. Drinks aren't cheap but then nothing on board is. Excursions- We didn't book any of the excursions, they were very expensive. Shops- The shops on board were dreadful, such a waste of space, expensive jewellery, tee shirts, a few teddy bears, the beautiful retail spaces are totally underutilized, sparse expensive stock. I did weaken and purchased a lovely silver roman glass ring which was supposed to have had pretty foils fused onto it, it was extremely pretty and at $49 (everything priced in dollars) not as over priced I thought as many of the other items, but to my disappointment within three days (and of course after I had arrived home) the decoration (the pattern of pretty foils) had almost all completely washed off, leaving plain green glass, such a disappointment. I would have returned it but don't trust them to either refund me or return the ring so would end up with nothing for my $49 plus tax. Itinerary- Nice (actually Villefranche) we didn't get off (as have visited area before many times), but apparently the nicest place to do so with easy access to Nice or Monaco. Sardinia- Not much to see in port but worth a quick hop off, (don't forget the Siesta time between 1pm-4pm) Sicily- Again not much to see in port, some shops, no bargains, we did find a nice but not really cheap jewellery shop where a pleasant man made tumble stone items which were at least hand made and not over priced. We didn't like the weird "busker" who had trained his cat to have white mice crawling all over it, strange and unsettling. Summing up- We felt that what really lets the ship down is the standard of the staff, the service we received was appalling for a cruise ship (we have experience), the staff were there to sell, sell, sell with no interest in the guests comfort or enjoyment. The staff were grumpy, tetchy and as in the example with the waiter who poured coffee over me, totally unprofessional. We came to the conclusion the staff must be "in training" with the good ones moving onto "better" ships in America and the dross staying in the med. If that isn't the case then the training these ones have received is substandard, in the past cruise staff have always "made" a cruise for us and we have always tipped accordingly but this time only the house keeping staff got any money from us. So Great ship shame about the staff. P.S. there is a $20 deposit for towels by pool, which is charged to your card, when you return towels this should be refunded to your account, but one lady was charged $60+tax for 3 towels on her final bill despite returning the towels ,beware ! (and she didn't notice until she got the bill out at the airport don't fancy her chances of a refund!) Read Less
Sail Date: June 2010
This is our third sailing with RC. First was on the Navigator of the Seas a ok cruise. Second was on the Maiden Voyage 4 day to Labadee Extravaganza on Oasis of the Seas. Great ship lots of bumps on the road here. Substandard cruise ... Read More
This is our third sailing with RC. First was on the Navigator of the Seas a ok cruise. Second was on the Maiden Voyage 4 day to Labadee Extravaganza on Oasis of the Seas. Great ship lots of bumps on the road here. Substandard cruise director, just ok service though. Great service in Windjammer poor service in dining room. Great ship to be on though lots of freebies thrown in. Now on to review of Adventure of the Seas. Before the cruise stayed at Eurostar Grand Marina. The service here was great but the beds are rock hard. Also very expensive. Cant beat the location though everything including Los Rambles is within walking distance. If you cruise out of Barcelona make sure you take a day before and a day after to check out this great city. The people are great and very friendly and there is lots of stuff to see for free. Take a hop on hop off bus its a great buy. Embarkation. RC has this down we were on the ship within 1/2 hour great guidance by staff inside terminal lots of great direction. We cruised to Cannes, France, Florence and Pisa and Rome. Lots to do and see in these places. More on that in my port reviews. The ship itself was old but in pretty good shape standard Voyager class ship nicely decorated. The biggest opportunity here for RC in there extremely poor service and staff. Mercedes the cruise director was a very nice lady and very friendly she did everything bilingual since a lot of the crowd was Spanish not much wow with her though just ok. Some people don't like when a cruise director is bilingual but I think its good practice to respect the culture and people of Spain by speaking their language. In my experience the Spanish people are a very nice and family oriented folk. I fell in love with Barcelona because of that so I think its proper to speak both Catalan and Spanish (even though in my experience few people spoke Catalan, when they did they appreciated that I used the language).. Im also a drummer and percussionist with a big love for Latin music where there was plenty served up on this cruise. The band Musiclave was very good. Stateroom- We had a balcony stateroom and a good stateroom attendant Denis from St Vincent. He was the best thing on our cruise as far as service goes. The furniture on our balcony was awful you could find better chairs at a garage sale. It really was that bad. When I spend extra cash for the balcony I expect the furniture to be at least as nice as what I would put on my own balcony at home.The rest of the stateroom was nice and pretty spacious. The crew here was very disgruntled and I heard very vocal complaints about how poorly they are treated by RC. Not a happy bunch at all. Most said hi if you said hi first. But surely no wow and I think they were saying how because they feared their bosses and management. Surely not the way to get a crew to perform. I heard them gripe about how they had to pay for their uniforms and were only paid 25.00 per week. Not something I really want to hear on vacation. Dining-Only spent two days in the dining room food and service here was not very good. It wasn't bad there was just no wow. And I had our waiter actually tell me not to eat in the Windjammer because of poor service. I was floored by this comment the crew had already shared with me to much information (that I wasn't looking for I'm on vacation). But the Windjammer had pretty good service and the food was ok so that comment really put me off. The Royal Sirloin in the dining room was nothing more than the grilled steak from the windjammer with some nice salsa served on the side. The steak wasn't bad or anything like that. But it certainly was not on the level of being called Royal.The food here does not compare to what Ive gotten on Carnival though.Food was standard below average cruise fare,pretty good but nothing special. Deserts were the same thing equal whether you got it in the dining room or Windjammer. Matter of fact I got better service in the Windjammer on the Oasis of the Seas then I got in their dining room. RC is really lacking in dining room service (in my experience with them). The real advantage Royal Caribbean has over other cruise lines is they have shorter cruises to Europe. If the other cruise lines like Carnival picked up on this they would smoke Royal Caribbean. The shows- Royal Caribbean has the best ice shows at sea for sure. All that I have seen are very well done. But then again they have the only ice rinks at sea. The other productions were ok, nothing special though. I like the fact that they do have some very skilled variety show type acts involved. The talent they had on this ship was pretty good. Production shows put on by staff were ok. Just no wow.Carnivals shows put RC to shame as far asthe WOW factor. Meet the captain on board ship and he was really a great guy. Great personality and huge Canadian, Viking looking guy. Very jovial and friendly. As far as the perks of being a return cruiser Ive got to shake my head. The discount book I got was not worth the paper it was printed on. A couple decent deals but nothing of real significance. And boy they are really promoting the perks they are giving return cruisers. If anything they have taken more away than they have given back. And what happened with the turn down service and the little chocolate? May seem like a little thing but its all part of cruising. Plus I had to ask to have a couple towel animals whats up with that. Am I missing something here? Don't get me wrong I loved being in Europe and RC was ok but not enough to continue my business with them. This has been my third cruise with Royal and will perhaps have to be my last. I believe their staff is really the poorest I have seen in my limited experience. Some of this has to be due to upper management I believe. If you have a unhappy crew this many times can be tracked up the ladder. I will pay a little( or a lot) more now and go with Celebrity, Disney, and Princess. No big regrets about going on RC but I will take my cruise dollars some place else where I get better service from the crew. Remembering a guests name and hello and please and thank you goes a long way. Disembarkation was again a breeze RC has this down and is very well organized in getting people on and off the ship. Its the in between time that needs work. Stayed at the Renaissance Marriott in a Elite class room after the cruise. This hotel is superior if you are in Barcelona it would be good to check this place out. Far away from stuff but they do have a free shuttle that will take you into town and pick you up six hours later. Again it makes me a little sad to have to put my cruise dollars someplace else. But this is a investment of time and money. And with Royal Caribbean I am not getting a good return on investment so its time to move on. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2010
This was our 5th cruise, two previously with Royal Caribbean (RCI) two with Princess. Transfer from Barcelona Airport to the ship via pre aranged transport with RCI was smooth and efficient. We had a 30 minute wait at the ship in a long ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise, two previously with Royal Caribbean (RCI) two with Princess. Transfer from Barcelona Airport to the ship via pre aranged transport with RCI was smooth and efficient. We had a 30 minute wait at the ship in a long queue for embarkation, possibly as so many passengers had arived at the same time, shortly after 12 noon. It seems the queue is much shorter nearer 2pm which is worth bearing in mind. The actual formalities on reaching the end of the queue are quich, especially if you register on-line as we did. Our stateroom was ready when we arived. We had chosen a Promenade View as at the time of booking no outside staterooms were available. These staterooms have a window to the centre of the ship but the amount of light is limited so you need a light on at all times.In addition, there is entertainment on the Promenade Deck some nights going on up to midnight. If you want an early night as we did for an early start next day for a tour, forget it! Also as you have the light on there is no privacy from the staterooms oposite. Frankly, save some money and book an inside cabin. The ship decor was to a generally high standard although we personally are not fans of 'modern art' which was much in evedence on this particular ship. The layout of the ship is similar to others in the RCI fleet with the addition of a climbing wall and ice skating area. The Promenade Deck area had some interesting themes such as bar areas, a 'cafe' open most of the day and shops. We found staff generally to be polite and friendly. Out Stateroom Attendant, Anthony, was delightful and shared several amuzing moments with us. He kept our stateroom imaculate. The dining arangements were as we had experienced previously with a choice of set dining or 'my time dining' where you dine at a time that suits you best. We choose the latter. Be aware, however, that RCI insist on all gratuities to be pain at the time of booking the cruise if you chhose 'my time dining'! Their argument is that in theory you could have a different waiter each night. The food in the Dining Room was to a high standard and well presented with a choice each evening. The self service Windjammer Cafe provides food to cover all tastes including an impressive variety of salads and of course sweets, fruit and cakes. Tea, coffee, cold 'tea' and lemonade (still tasty bitter lemon) are available. We ate here for breakfast and lunchtime if on board. Finding a seat was sometimes difficult at busy times. I found cold plates anoying; obviously this cools hot food! Entertainment in the full-sized theatre was varied with combinations of specialty acts and singers and dancers. Mercedes, the Cruise Director from Argentina,introduced all acts in both English and Spanish. We attended an excellent Ice Show. There was always a full programme of events throughout the day to keep passengers active. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2010
Just back from a week long cruise on Adventure of the seas 3rd to 10th July, my husband and I took the two golden girls, our mothers in their mid 70's and our two younger! girls age 23 and 18, but this was an ideal holiday for this ... Read More
Just back from a week long cruise on Adventure of the seas 3rd to 10th July, my husband and I took the two golden girls, our mothers in their mid 70's and our two younger! girls age 23 and 18, but this was an ideal holiday for this mix of ages as we found there was something for everyone to enjoy. Embarkation however was not good and seemed a bit chaotic, we were all tired having driven down to Newcastle the night before from Scotland and then up at 6am for an early flight. We hired a minibus to take us to the ship at Malaga and that worked out very well.The embarkation queue took over an hour and a half we had to ask staff if our mums could sit down. When we finally got to the desk, I could see why the queue was so long, the lady was friendly but her English was poor and she appeared confused by the whole booking in system, trying to put is all in separate rooms, luckily my daughter speaks Spanish, she lived there for a year so when she came over it speeded up the process. Last year we went on Voyager from Barcelona and the booking in took minutes and we walked straight on but this was a bit of a disaster, especially as everyone was so tired. Once on, we were delighted with our rooms all next to each other and with a view of the promenade. The food was as usual excellent although the first day at the windjammer was so busy, they kept making announcements to try to get people to eat then leave and not sit too long, we could not find a table and all had to split up just to eat breakfast. At the main dining room we had great waiters in Randalph from Jamaica and Mohammed from Tunisia, they were so nice and we enjoyed having a wee chat with them also. The entertainment was exceptionally good and that goes throughout the day and at night, the sexy legs and belly flop competitions by the pool made everyone laugh and the night time shows were all outstanding. The Mowtown group had the whole Lyric theatre on their feet and its a big theatre! young old and middle aged in our group loved them. The show on the last night was amazing, two men from Argentina, the girls are still going on about how funny they were and it was not a comedy act they just had great interaction with the audience and the fact that it was done for both the spanish passengers and the English speaking passengers was very good. This is a new sailing out of Malaga and since it has opened up this port the majority of the passengers are Spanish, all in big family groups, we had a great time watching the world cup football qualifying matches with them. It was such an exciting atmosphere we watched it in the Lyric theatre and they get so emotional every time Spain gets possesion it was so great to be part of it, by the end we were all chanting along with them ,yes okay I'll say it first,since we are scottish it's the closest we'll get to a winning team,but even the Nan's enjoyed it and they dont like football! This ship is predominantly Spanish unlike Voyager which is more mixed nationalities. The ports were not our main consideration as we knew we would have to take it slower this time for the Nan's . We all had a great time,although on sea days I would recomend you have breakfast early and get a lounger asap as we found sea days to be exceptionally busy around the pool. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2010
The cruise was wonderful, actually exceeded our expectations. It was second cruise for me and my wife both in thirties. We left kids at home and did not regret about it even for a second. But let me start from the air flight, which was a ... Read More
The cruise was wonderful, actually exceeded our expectations. It was second cruise for me and my wife both in thirties. We left kids at home and did not regret about it even for a second. But let me start from the air flight, which was a nightmare delivered by American Airlines: 1. Flight from JFK to Madrid was delayed for 5 hours. As a result we missed our connection flight to Malaga 2. Of course luggage was delayed and delivered only next morning about an hour before we were leaving to the sea port. So here is the conclusion: arrive to the embarkation port at least 1-2 days before the cruise starts. 3. Our flight back to US was late too. And again same story and even worse: last flight cancelled no meal/accommodations from AA and delayed baggage again. No excuse and nothing reimburse from AA. Luckily as it was so bad in the air, it was extremely good at the sea: We stayed at AC Malaga hotel one night before cruise. Good location, close to the city center and sea port, English speaking stuff. They helped us a lot when luggage was lost. I do not speak Spanish at all, and all Spanish people I met there do not speak English either. So sometimes we had a hard time trying to explain something. Embarkation was smooth and fast, pretty long lines but moving very quickly. It took us about 15-20 minutes to get to the ship and Windjammer for lunch. We had balcony stateroom which was great. Most of the time Mediterranean is smooth in summer, so it is a big plus. We had lunch on a balcony few times. By the way a lot of Spanish on board and very few children. We had an early seating for dinner. I consider it a big advantage, you have enough time to sleep and wake up early. It saves your time for ports and shore excursions. Food was great, European style. Windjammer cafe was crowded sometimes, but it does not really matter because you can take food into your stateroom. I was surprised but shore excursions were great and not pricey at all. E.g $50 per person for 4 hours Palma de Majorca City tour. I can compare because we also took a separate tour in Toledo from different tour operator: much worse and expensive. Tour was probably designed for American teens: a lot of useless entertainment, lack of historical information etc. For us of course Rome was the most interesting place. We took a train from Civitaveccia. It is even faster than taxi, very convenient and cost is 9 euro per person which a super deal comparing to taxi or bus transfer. In Ajaccio I'd suggest to visit Napoleon's museum. Other than that there is nothing to do in this port. Beach, beach, beach... Palma is pretty interesting place to visit, especially cathedral and old castle on top of the hill. About entertainment. Maybe it was not as good as expected, but it pertains only to production shows. Ice show was superb. Almost forgot: casino. I lost money this time. Not too much, but it was kinda weird. First day I won almost everywhere and I guess all other people won too. After that something changed, kept loosing money every time I played. We disembarked around 9 a.m, had plenty of time because our train was leaving at 11 a.m. Taxi from Malaga sea port to the train station - 12 euros, about 10 minutes drive. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2010
I'll start by saying that I am a 17 year old so I will try and write this review from my perspective so as to help any families with teenagers thinking of going on this cruise. Firstly embarkation: This was well organised with lots ... Read More
I'll start by saying that I am a 17 year old so I will try and write this review from my perspective so as to help any families with teenagers thinking of going on this cruise. Firstly embarkation: This was well organised with lots of people and very long queues however the queues were very fast moving overall we were onboard after about 25-30 minutes. Once onboard we spent time exploring the ship which is very large and visually impressive from the inside we then decided to head to the windjammer for lunch. Be Warned the amount of people trying to get in was unbelievable easily above 100 in the queue outside alone once we were inside after about half an hour the chance of finding a table is virtually impossible so we gave up and took our food outside. I took part in the adventure ocean 15-17 year old youth programme and went to some of the activities such as the disco and it is a great place to meet new people and make friends. The service onboard is mixed ranging from outstanding to very poor, the waiters in the main dining room are exceptional always willing to change a meal if you dont like it and even cutting up my sisters food for her even though she is 15 and perfectly capable herself. The service in the pool bar was usually poor with the bartender very grumpy then again it is the busiest bar on the ship so it is probably understandable. The entertainment onboard is very good with the production shows, but there was a guest musician who only played the violin and was very good but not really suitable for a family audience The main bad points we encountered were that around 85% of guests were spanish and found it necessary to shout at each other even whilst standing right infront of each other aswell as being rude and pushing past you. You may think well its departing from malaga what do you expect but we were on ncl gem last year from spain and we did not have this issue. Also the price of drinks if you do not purchase a drinks package is very high. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2010
I got a good late deal for this cruise. I read recent reviews of Adventure of the Seas after I booked. I was a bit worried about the negative comments, especially about the level of service, but I should not have been concerned. Either the ... Read More
I got a good late deal for this cruise. I read recent reviews of Adventure of the Seas after I booked. I was a bit worried about the negative comments, especially about the level of service, but I should not have been concerned. Either the crew got better, or the poor weather this spring affected passengers' perceptions of the ship. I had my purse stolen on the short train journey from the airport. I could not praise the port staff highly enough for their help and lending me a phone so that I could cancel the cards. Thankfully I only lost a small amount of cash and not my passports which were beside the purse. It was my fault for not being careful enough... Anyway we got over that crisis and got into our stateroom. This was our first cruise without our kids - how big the stateroom feels with only 2 in it!! We had a promenade view. It was very airy but we were right above the English bar and the noise when there was entertainment was annoying. I had wondered how an internal would work out and if it would seem claustrophobic. Of course having your own balcony is fantastic - but given the difference in price I would not hesitate in getting an internal again. The first thing I did was go an see the head waiter to change our dining reservation. We had first seating which is far too early for us. No problem changing and by the second night we were put on a table of couples of a similar age to us. They were all good company. Malaga is a new port. The ship has attracted a high number of first time cruisers. We heard a few grumbles from other passengers but we were quite satisfied. Yes the Windjammer was jam packed if you went for lunch after 1.15 pm. The pool was not big enough to swim if you went in between 9 am and 9 pm. The ship is big and it was full!! Possibly my biggest gripe was that there was a pool party on the same night as the second formal night. The suggested attire was white - I had nothing white to wear - and I was already dressed up, why would I change at that point? The party was crowded though, so I accept that I was in the minority. We did not use the entertainment much, but there was plenty - I went to one show and the Ice Show and they were good - we never seemed to have time as we were just finishing our meal at 11.15, other table mates rushed off a couple of times but we were still talking. I went to a film which was a good way to spend an afternoon at sea and stay cool. If I had been bored there would have been a lot more to do. The point of my holiday was to relax so I didn't get around to it. The ports were fairly low key - apart from Rome which is wonderful (we caught a local train in from Civitavecchia station), but they were all worth a wander around followed by a short dip in the sea. I could not have been able to join in a 'tour' - it was much too hot to stand around and listen to someone tell me about the birth of Napoleon or the Corsican fight for independence followed by a recommendation for which shop to visit. The food all tasted good, but the cost of food has been lowered compared to our 2 previous cruises. The midnight buffet was nothing compared to last time. There were no lobsters or big steaks. I have still eaten too much. I never used the lift in an effort to keep fit - but have all my clothes suddenly shrunk ??? We used the bars on the Royal Promenade and the Cafe for late night cups of tea. They were never overcrowded - maybe because so many of the passengers were children. The drinks are not cheap but really our bill at the end of the week was not excessive. It would have been nice to have a big win in the casino to cover the bill, but I think that the machines were doing the most winning. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2010
We left from Malaga on our 7 day cruise, the embarkation process was a bit hectic, but it flowed nonetheless. There is no parking at the port so it is necessary to park off site if you drove in, which we did. Use Red parking it was quite ... Read More
We left from Malaga on our 7 day cruise, the embarkation process was a bit hectic, but it flowed nonetheless. There is no parking at the port so it is necessary to park off site if you drove in, which we did. Use Red parking it was quite affordable and they offer a shuttle to the pier, pick up, and a car washing service that is included. This cruise was mostly bilingual due to the large amounts of Spaniards on board. Food in the main dining room was consistently good, our waiter was excellent, and had a great sense of humor. The service was outstanding from all the staff, so long as your not rude to them. We opted out of doing the tours, and just would putz about the towns and see our own things. We caught the train into Rome, jumped on a double decker bus for 15 euro and hopped on and off as we wanted to. Its tough to fit in a bunch of things so better to just pick a couple. There is a great gelato place along the walk back to the train station. Ajaccio had such beautiful crystal clear water, we just spent the day swimming at the beach and collecting sea glass. There is a great public market if you happen to be there on the weekend. Cagliari was loaded with graffiti and mostly a shoppers strip mall, but a hike up to the old section of town was a nice surprise and offered great views. Don't miss the shows every night, they were the highlight of our trip. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2010
I have travelled both the carribean and Medditeranean in recent years and each time on a Royal carribean Voyger Class Ship, The Mariner in 2007 around the Western Carribean and this year the Adventure of the Seas around the Western ... Read More
I have travelled both the carribean and Medditeranean in recent years and each time on a Royal carribean Voyger Class Ship, The Mariner in 2007 around the Western Carribean and this year the Adventure of the Seas around the Western Medditeranean. The biggest surprise was the Cost, fair enough the exchange rate from pound to doller was more favourable a couple of years back, but no way did i expect to spend over 1200 dollers on booze alone and still not feel tipsy in any way. On both cruises the boat was full but in the carribean space was constantly prevelant,and everything felt more relaxed. This time around the Med, space was at a premium and the deck area was constantly full to capacity, (you had to get up very early to get a bed)Even the Soarium area that usually allows only adults and is generally more peacefull allowed kids in probably because their area was manic-knock on effect, the adult only area was also boistrous and noisy. Not all bad the waiter service in the dining room was fantastic and Ibrahim, Robin and the drinks waiter Melchiot were exceptional- well done! To sumarise, the cruise was fair the boat packed, will travel with Royal Carribean again, but certainly not around the Med Read Less
Sail Date: July 2010
Having cruised previously our expectations were high of Royal Carribean . Embarkation was like a day at the January sales hectic to say the least approx 1 hour & once on the ship we were looking for the nearest bar for a cool drink [ ... Read More
Having cruised previously our expectations were high of Royal Carribean . Embarkation was like a day at the January sales hectic to say the least approx 1 hour & once on the ship we were looking for the nearest bar for a cool drink [ aquarious deck 4]where I was promptly charged over $100 for four soft drinks ! I spotted the mistake the grumpy bar tender had charged me for 52 cokes not 2 this was in the first ten mins of being on board . It took 2 days chasing customer services to remove the charges from my account ! There was a repeated incident later in the week where I had been charged four times for the same item & once again it took 2 days chasing customer services to remove these charges I'm on holiday for heavens sake ! Beware Some of the staff were surprisingly grumpy taking into account they are the 'face' of the ship its not nice when you have paid a lot of money to be there . I think its fair to say 80% of our fellow cruisers were Spanish who speak amongst themselves at volume level 9 & have never heard of forming a line or keeping quiet while watching a show you have been warned . Smoking areas .Passengers were smoking on all the outside decks & in two of the bars [ dog and duck & Schooner ] which made them no go areas if you dont smoke .Its a great shame there should have been one area outside designated for smokers & once again I paid money to be able to go in these bars . Speaking of bars I dont think they know how much to charge for drinks - a complete rip off . I don't think I had a hot meal all week in either the Windjammer or Mozart dining room - just warm . The evacuation drill was an unsupervised shambles ,if it was needed in a real incident well who knows what would happen . Apart from the above , the Adventure of the seas is beautiful ship the activities & shows on board are brilliant plus the guys who look after the state rooms & waiters do a marvelous job but are let down by the rest oh & by the way you are service charged every time you buy a drink whether the bar tender is grumpy glad to serve you or not. As a comparison to the other end of the scale we have cruised on the island escape & to be fair the ship is in need of a refit the cabins are awful but put their staff on the Adventure of the seas & it would be a different ship, policed correctly , hot meals & service with a smile . Come on carribean you have lost my money next time around its a great ship but let down by attention to detail. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2010
Well everyone were do i start, i suppose i will begin with the fantastic 4* Malaga palacio hotel which we stayed at pre cruise for 2 nights in the lovely port of malaga, the hotel was in a great location and only a 5 minute ride(approx) ... Read More
Well everyone were do i start, i suppose i will begin with the fantastic 4* Malaga palacio hotel which we stayed at pre cruise for 2 nights in the lovely port of malaga, the hotel was in a great location and only a 5 minute ride(approx) over to the ship. The hotel was very affordable,modern,clean and certainly deserved all of its 4*'s, the hotel staff were efficent and very helpfull with any queries we had! The roof pool added extra points to this hotel for me and the view was fab! On the day of embarkation everything went very smoothly we had already checked in online so when we arrived at the pier we just stood in line for our sea pass cards all in took around 20mins we were soon aboard the ship, we sat on deck 4 for a welcome drink and by the time we had finished our cabins were ready, i was pleasently surprised at how big they were, we had a balcony which was a extra bonus, the room offers loads of storage,for all your essentials, and the suitcases fitted perfectly under the bed! :-) our room attendtant Joel desreves a specail mention he made our stay aboard very welcoming, each day our bed was made and room left neat and tidy also not forgetting his fantastic towel animals apon return to our cabin each night along with your cruise compass for the next day! The food was of high standard i thought, anyone who complains really have nothing better to be doing! The selection in the windjammer for breakfast and lunch was exceptional!! Each night we ate in the Mozart dining room on deck 5 at our desired time thanks to the my time dining option.Plenty to do everyday from rockclimbing to minigolf,ice skating,sun bathing,dancing,art auctions,shopping,eating so much to mention. all in all i give this ship 10 out of 10 and cannot wait for our honeymoon next year aboard Oasis of the seas roll on July, if you have any questions i will be glad to help you. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2010
Adventure of the Seas Western Med 7 August 2010 We flew to Malaga with Ryanair on the Thursday before our Saturday departure. No real problems with Ryanair other than the need to scrupulously check that the luggage was not over the ... Read More
Adventure of the Seas Western Med 7 August 2010 We flew to Malaga with Ryanair on the Thursday before our Saturday departure. No real problems with Ryanair other than the need to scrupulously check that the luggage was not over the weight allowance. We arrived in Malaga late at night where I had booked a hotel in the city centre. I showed my Internet map to the man at airport information & he directed us to a public bus that stopped within about 200 yards of the hotel. The bus only cost 1 euro 10 cents (as opposed to 30 euros for a cab) so we felt ahead of the game. I considered the savings a sort of rolling ice cream slush fund. The hotel we had booked was Room Mate Lola. The room was very comfortable, the location convenient and the breakfast (6 euros extra) was great. The staff were all friendly & helpful. Our first dinner was in the pedestrianised area a short walk from the hotel. The restaurant was El Trillo. I loved everything about the place: staff, ambiance, food, location, view. My husband sort of agreed but said he had had better paella elsewhere. The following day it was very hot so we decided to take the hop on hop off tourist bus to help with getting around. That worked really well & we enjoyed the city, visiting the citadel and the Picasso sites as well as the motorised part of the trip. That evening we decided to try another restaurant called Strachan. Not such a good idea. Again it was near the cathedral. It was full of Spaniards, usually a good sign - we even had to wait for a table. Unfortunately we found the service poor & the food unpalatable. I was actually pleased to find a long dark hair in my meal so I wouldn't have to eat anymore of it (I'm a short-haired blond.) We were very favourably impressed with the Malaganans & their city, including the charming taxi driver who took us to the port. We arrived for embarkation at about 11:30AM. My heart dropped when I saw a large disorganised group of people standing around. I didn't realise at that point that milling about in amorphous groups was the Spanish way. Once we actually got into the embarkation queue we were through the process in no time and everyone we dealt with was very nice. Cabins were not available until 1:00PM so we had a leisurely & delicious meal in Windjammer until the room was ready. After that I changed into swimming gear & spent the afternoon at the Solarium pool. The next day was a deliciously idle sea day. The vast majority of the guests were Spanish & almost all of them were travelling in largish family groups. This made dining arrangements different from other cruises I've been on. Very few people wanted to share a table & meet new people. Most of the guests wanted to dine as late as possible, e.g. 9:15PM. We were on My-Time Dining & requested a large table to share. On 2 nights they made some attempt to find someone to share but basically there were very few English speakers and even fewer who wanted to share a table & dine at the same time as us. Having said that we did meet a few very nice people. The first port was Sardinia. The local people were very well organised, so much so that they spoiled us for Civitiveccia the next day. As soon as we stepped off the ship there was a city tour open topped bus there to take us on a familiarisation tour of the town for a small fee. At the same time there were people there promoting the Segway tours & a beach excursion. I actually did the lot. My husband didn't want to do the Segway or beach. The Segway tour was good & reasonably priced at 25 Euros. My criticism would be that it was a little too organised. Probably a bit more time spent on training & health & safety than necessary. The actual tour was very scenic & well worthwhile although the tour leaders appeared very nervous. One would call out slow down at the same time the other would say hurry up, for example. Mixed review of the beach trip. The bus was comfortable, the beach was beautiful, changing room was spotless, welcoming drink was lovely cold juice. Unfortunately for me, & I confess to being a bit of a coward, the water was a bit too cold for total immersion. Sardinia seemed to be a beautiful island, the flamingoes were spectacular & all the people I encountered seemed charming. The next port of call was Civittiveccia & here I have mixed reviews. We were left waiting for ages for the free port shuttle to the town & again later to return. We were told not to walk & in any event it would be a very long walk. As it was very hot & we had been to Rome several times before, we chose to go to the nearby town of Tarquinia. It is only about 15 - 20 minutes away by bus but there seemed to be a conspiracy to keep us from getting there. The people in Tourist Information said we could buy bus tickets at any news vendor or tobacconist. I tried several of each, all of whom said they had no tickets or they were all sold out. We finally went to the bus stop & met an English family who had had the same experience. We spoke to a local policemen who said we could just buy tickets on the bus. When the bus finally arrived the driver said we needed tickets in advance. We all just got on anyway and went to Tarquinia without actually paying. On arrival we all went to Tourist Information where the people were supremely helpful. They gave us free tourist books and and loads of good information. We took the local free shuttle bus which takes you on a beautiful route through the medieval town to a stop near the Etruscan necropolis. It was too hot for us to methodically go up & down every staircase to look at all the caves but I managed to make it through 6 or 8. I had rented the audio guide which was excellent & without which I would have understood very little. I thought the tombs were beautifully maintained and very interesting. I liked the town shuttle bus & the driver was so good that I asked if it was OK to stay on for a second circuit. We then alighted approximately where we started where we did a little walking tour of the beautiful walled town and then viewed the museum housed in a 15th Century former palace before heading back to Civitiveccia using tickets which were easy to buy at the tobacconist in Tarquinia. The next port was Ajacio, Corcica & that made a strong favourable impression. I previously knew very little about the place except for the Napoleonic connection. I was totally enchanted and hope to return for a proper visit. The ship moors right in the centre of town which is a great plus. We first did the little tour on the motorised train. Then we had a great wander around the local farmer's market which had started at 4:00AM. I then did a walking tour of the town going up one street & down the next. I went to the town beach where there are showers & toilets, if needed. The water was a bit warmer than Sardinia although the beach next to the sea was pretty fiercely pebbly. I went back to the town & took the open top bus tour which went a bit further along the coast & gave a different view. I would recommend getting ticketed in advance if you want to do this as they sell out & you are then obliged to wait. The last port of call was Palma de Mallorca. Our arrival time was a few hours later than normal as a passenger had a medical emergency causing us to return to Corsica. We arrived a couple of hours late in Palma and didn't leave until midnight. Palma, what a beautiful city. We have been there several times before so we didn't have as great an impetus to sightsee as some other people. We did re-visit the cathedral, however and some of the outdoor sights. We did some great shopping as the sales were in full force, and I had one of the best ice creams ever - watermelon flavour. I do still love Palma but it was very hot & humid so it was nice to get back to the lovely Solarium pool on the ship. We dined in Windjammer that evening as our timing was out of kilter and we missed our MTD booking. I was pleasantly surprised with evening Windjammer as we have only done that once before, on another cruise. I had the Mongolian barbecue which was delicious. My husband had the fish pie along with some curry and that also looked good. On the subject of food, one good thing on this cruise is the presence of a large Spanish inspired platter at each lunch. That gave me a good opportunity to try these dishes I usually wouldn't get to eat. There were also some serious negatives about food. You have go figure out the times the Spanish don't eat in order to get a place in Windjammer otherwise it is impossible. MTD times are very limited because the Spanish monopolise the later times. It is a real issue, but one you can deal with. There were some other issues raised resulting from the great majority of Spanish guests. They kept bringing small children to the adult only solarium area and taking the infants and toddlers into the adult only pool & hot tubs. Aside from the sanitation considerations of having these pre-toilet trained kids in the water, there was the very annoying issue of the screaming. Whenever I tried either to read a book or to relax a screaming toddler would destroy the moment. There were also older children running back & forth unsupervised. I informed guest services and pool attendants of my dissatisfaction with this situation, as did other guests in my hearing, but RCI seemingly did nothing to discourage these families from spending the days with their small children in the adults only area until the final sea day when people in security uniforms were in evidence and small children were not. The catering on the cruise was excellent in my estimation and the staff & crew were, as usual, charming & helpful. Most of the shows were very good. Some things I loved, others I didn't, which is a normal reflection of life in general. It has to be said that for anyone who is not Spanish there is something of an issue. Having such a large complement of such a strong culture does change the dynamics of the cruise. They come in large impenetrable family groupings. They, for the most part, ignore the RCI rules. They have a totally different out-look on queuing, which involves having one or two family members creating a block and kicking or blocking anyone who wants to pass. This creates chaos when trying, for example, to disembark when one person will stand in front of the sea-pass machine and keep anyone from going through. They do the same in the theatre and lifts so in the end you are obliged to overcome your own good manners and push through or be left behind - altogether not a totally satisfactory state of affairs. One of the bar staff let slip the fact they had had a meeting where they were told the Spanish guests had complained about the presence of the "outsiders" on the ship. With a few very welcome exceptions they made their dissatisfaction with our presence pretty clear. One man kicked me in the pool very hard. This was probably by accident but when I cried out in pain he refused to apologize and the rest of the group he was with called me names. A bit of a mixed review for the cruise, as the itinerary is great, the ship is lovely, crew is great, food is delicious, shows are entertaining, the cruise director, Leo Papa, is good but the fellow travellers can create some problems. I think the best approach is to find the humour in the situation and just relax & enjoy the cruise. We elected for late departure to get maximum use of the solarium and Windjammer. It seemed well worth the money to me as our schedule did not involve rushing from ship to plane. On departure morning we left our carry ons in a lounge where there was a crew member on duty to look after them. We didn't feel like bothering with breakfast but it was available. It was a lovely extra lease on life to use the solarium pool & hot-tub & Windjammer lunch. It was a strange wistful feeling, however, as the new guests started arriving full of hope & enthusiasm for their holidays and we knew we had to leave in a few hours. I still think late departure is a good deal if you are staying on or have a late flight. Leaving the ship was a doodle. I was the last person to collect my carry on bag at about 2:30pm. We then left the ship and easily found our bags in the terminal and a taxi to our hotel. The driver explained there is a fixed fee of 10 euros into the city centre. That seemed fair enough. The driver seemed surprised but pleased when we gave him a 3 euro tip. On arriving in Malaga again we learned there was a big fair going on in town. After a bit of a rest & re-group we went out to explore the fair. It is called the Malaga Feria and happens once a year. There are stalls selling food & drinks such as Mojitos and Margaritas & the local wine Carbajal by the litre and people in all forms of dress including some in traditional Spanish dresses. It is colourful to say the least. By about 8:00PM we found ourselves surrounded by thousands of drunk but good-natured Spaniards. We lost our way at one point as we were swept away by the crowds. I asked a young girl the way to the cathedral. She said, "I think it's left but I drunk - too drunk". She had a lovely smile and her directions were right despite her condition. We finally stopped wandering and shared a jug of sangria and sat and watched the colourful, and mainly under the weather, multitudes pass by. By about 9:30 we were too tired and hot to eat so we skipped dinner and returned to the hotel to refresh ourselves for the following day. Our final day of holiday we slept in and had a comfortable air-conditioned morning before braving the heat and the fair. We had planned a day at the beach but abandoned our plan in favour of the unique opportunity of the Feria. Again the fair was amazing! People were so good natured. There was music & dance everywhere; colourful costumes; interesting stalls. All in all a perfect party except for the intense heat. We took the public bus back to the airport. By then we were experts. Despite changing the departure gate twice causing people to engage in competitive cross-country runs with their carry-ons the flight home was fine and the car parking company, AHS, was fantastic. A bit of a let down now to be home but looking forward to the next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2010
Having read some pretty poor reviews of this cruise we were not sure what to expect. This was our 6th cruise with Royal Caribbean but it seemed like the sailings from Malaga had created problems we hadn't encountered before. There ... Read More
Having read some pretty poor reviews of this cruise we were not sure what to expect. This was our 6th cruise with Royal Caribbean but it seemed like the sailings from Malaga had created problems we hadn't encountered before. There were probably 2/3rds of the ship who were Spanish, with a mix of other nationalities onboard - many British and Irish, a sprinkling of other nationalities and very few Americans. To start with the negatives: The ship was certainly overcrowded. The sailings were selling very cheaply in Spain, the Spanish (particularly in the summer) travel in large family groups and many of the cabins which would normally have 2 people were filled with 4 so that the ship did feel jam-packed at times. This was most evident in the Windjammer when it was often very difficult and sometimes impossible to get a table - particularly on sea days. In fact they actually closed it on a couple of occasions because it was completely full. On embarkation day and on the two sea days they even opened the MDR with a Windjammer style buffet to deal with the large crowds. We heard from the chef that this route has caused a particular problem as they calculate that the usual time spent in the Windjammer is 40 mins, whereas the Spanish family groups would sit there for hours using tables which would normally be freed up. This was a 'problem' we easily dealt with - eat early, as the Spanish eat late or grab a plate and take it on deck or back to your cabin. Alternatively, ask a member of staff to find a table for you, they will always oblige. The other complaints I previously read about concerned rudeness and uncontrollable kids. I can honestly say I encountered no more rudeness than I would anywhere else where there were large numbers of people (of any nationality). There were plenty of kids onboard but, aside from the occasional running up and down, nothing untoward. We didn't notice babies in diapers in the pools or kids in the Solarium (also previous complaints), so maybe RCI had done something about that. The pools were very crowded later in the day, but a plus side of this cruise is that because the Spanish eat late and party late there were plenty of beds on deck, even at 11 am on a sea day. I also read complaints about smoking but, apart from the places where it was allowed, never encountered excess smoke. In fact the ship had introduced even more restrictions during the week before we sailed. That's the negatives (such as they were) out of the way and now for the positives. We loved the cruise, in no small part to the people we met onboard, some through our cruise critic roll call. Entertainment: The entertainments staff worked really hard introducing all events in English (first) and then Spanish. The ice show, as ever, was very good and the Beatles show was excellent. We were particularly happy with the impromptu jamming session by 'Paul' and 'John' in the Schooner Bar on the last night. The Royal Promenade was rocking on 70s night. We didn't get to the Flamenco show but saw the Gauchos on the final night and really enjoyed it. Love & Marriage was a disappointment though, it doesn't lend itself to multi-translation. There was a real party feel on occasions, particularly the white party which is the best on-deck party I've been to on any ship. The dancing was amazing (Spanish music) and the atmosphere was really good-natured and fun. I'd advise anyone who's going on this cruise to take some white clothes and go along, even if just to people-watch. Formal nights were a little less formal than we've seen but plenty of people still dressed up. The teen club seemed to work well with Spanish and non-Spanish speaking teens getting along, despite the language barriers. It was good to see them take over Jesters one night so that they could experience a real nightclub. Food: We're almost at the stage where we know the MDR menu by heart but have also experienced very different standards on different ships. The food on Adventure was really good - better than we've had on some other RCI ships. We opted for MTD and booked at the same time with the same waiters every night. On occasion we changed our dining time but didn't encounter a problem. Dining times are much later in Spain and MTD did seem to be overwhelmed once it got to 9-9.30 pm with lots of people turning up to eat. We sailed on Voyager a month earlier and the food in the Windjammer on Adventure was MUCH better. Portofino was excellent as ever - we particularly liked the sharing plates which were brought out before dinner. Because the dining times are later the shows also tend to be later and, for repeat guests, the welcome back parties fit in with the dining times. We missed all the welcome back parties as they were held at 8.45, just the time we were eating. We did enjoy the nightly Diamond event in the 19th hole, and were very well looked after by the lovely Alexia. Ports: The ports of call also really made this cruise. We chose to relax and do beaches rather than culture and the ports really lend themselves to this. They were all easy to walk off the ship and find a beach close by. In Cagliari we took a taxi to a very nice beach (Poetta) and then did the Segway tour - highly recommended and great value for money. Ajaccio is a lovely town with a nice beach only a short walk away and in Palma we grabbed a taxi just outside port for a short ride to another great beach (Cala Mayor). The ship: I often see people ask about the state of the ship and can honestly say that unless it was falling apart I probably wouldn't notice. I didn't notice anything untoward it all seemed very clean and 'shipshape' so I guess the state of it was fine. We had a JS and an inside cabin, neither of which had any problems and our steward was extremely efficient. Gym: We used the gym on a couple of occasions, it was never very busy but one gripe (and it's common to most RCI ships) is the lack of free gym classes on offer, on sea days particularly. The RCI way of doing things is to cram the days with Pilates and Spinning classes (for which you pay) and 'seminars' which aim to sell you products - the more RCI cruises I take, the more I believe the gym is used as yet another money-making scheme. Conclusion: I would say that I'm not sure RCI's strategy with these sailings will ultimately be successful for them. They appear to have taken the decision to cram as many people onto a ship as cheaply as possible and this will put off some loyal customers. Although we didn't encounter any problems I know, from speaking with people who work onboard, that some cruises on this route had not been as friendly. This, together with the addition of Spanish VAT on every purchase, would probably deter me from sailing this route again. Although, if the price was right....... Read Less
Sail Date: August 2010
Myself and my wife went on our first holiday without the kids for 16+ years but unfortunately we still had to go in the school holidays, we spent a few nights on the Costa Del SOl before hand. On our confirmation documents it said you must ... Read More
Myself and my wife went on our first holiday without the kids for 16+ years but unfortunately we still had to go in the school holidays, we spent a few nights on the Costa Del SOl before hand. On our confirmation documents it said you must not board before 14.00 we thought we would try & get there a little before so arrived at 13.30 to be greeted by massive queue, apparantly they try and stagger check in at the Malaga Port. Once on the ship after dropping off our hand luggage we thought we would have some lunch, again massive queue we had to wait 20 minutes before we could get into the restaurant but once in food was plentiful and of a good standard. I have to say after this everything went very well, food in the restaurant was of a high standard, portions sometimes a bit small especially if your a bit of a pig like me!! but the waiter was always willing to bring a second portion. I think one of the major disappointments of the cruises was some of the shows mainly the ones which the cruise performers presented, the first night was very average, i think it was the second night that had 4 guys singing who were very good, 3rd night cruise performers again very average, 4th night they had a second group of performances of the ice show which incedently was brilliant but no main evening show which is unheard of on any other ship I have been on, the next night there was an English guy who played the violin with the ships orchestra he was very good but 45 minutes of the cheesiest comments and violin music was enough to send you to sleep, I felt especially sorry for the Spanish guests on the ship who he only catered for in the last 5/10 minutes of the show, but I have to say on the last night the cruise performers who were joined by a professional dance pair were very good. I felt the ship overall was pretty good and so were the staff. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2010
We have just returned from a family holiday on the AOS. Overall we had a great time and I hope you find this review useful. Embarkation was quick and efficient. We were on board by 2pm and our luggage arrived at 4.30pm. We had booked our ... Read More
We have just returned from a family holiday on the AOS. Overall we had a great time and I hope you find this review useful. Embarkation was quick and efficient. We were on board by 2pm and our luggage arrived at 4.30pm. We had booked our flights via RCI however, with hindsight I would not recommend this as I suspect we would have made significant savings if we had travelled independently. Our cabin on deck 8 was spotlessly clean and there was adequate storage space. Our cabin Steward, Leo, was excellent and really looked after us throughout our stay. We had 2 at sea days which were not so enjoyable due to the amount of passengers on board. The ship was absolutely packed. It was impossible to use the swimming pools - standing room only. Port days were better. We did not disembark at Palma and the ship was very quiet which I suspect was down to the significant amount if Spanish guests on board visiting this area. I would recommend eating breakfast in the dining room as opposed to the Windjammer as whilst the quality of food in the latter was excellent It was always packed at breakfast and chaotic. Dinner in the dining room was lovely and Taylan, our waiter excellent.Dining times were frustrating though and I understand these in addition to the show times had been altered to accomodate the Spanish guests. It was frustrating that fellow guests did not always adhere to the rules especially in relation to the swimming pools. e.g. children using adult only fscilities such as the jacuzzis and babies in nappies using the pools when for health reasons this is not allowed. I did raise this with guest relations but enforcement by the pool staff was not consistent. Evening entertainment ranged from excellent (the ice show) to mediocre ( the onboard singers). We did not purchase any excursions as we preferred just to find our own way at each Port and with children the excursions appeared restrictive. We tended to leave the ship in the morning, returning early afternoon to enjoy the facilities on board whilst it was quieter. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2010
We are experienced cruisers,this being our 25th cruise.Previously we have enjoyed cruising with NCL,P&O,Princess as well as 2 previous cruises with RCI on Grandeur & Enchantment.We had been curious about cruising on a larger ship ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers,this being our 25th cruise.Previously we have enjoyed cruising with NCL,P&O,Princess as well as 2 previous cruises with RCI on Grandeur & Enchantment.We had been curious about cruising on a larger ship (the largest ship we had used previously was the Diamond Princess).Another attraction of this itinerary was the direct flight from Belfast to Malaga.We had 1 night pre cruise in the Maestanza Hotel, Malaga--very good service & breakfast & an excellent location,close to beach,port etc.We had checked in on line for the ship & once we found the correct queue at the rather chaotic boarding shed we were processed surprisingly quickly.Our cabin was fine-the bed very comfortable with beautiful bed linen but where were the toiletries??? A bar of soap & shower gel are rather basic! We also missed the "chocolate on the pillow" that we had enjoyed on other cruises.The cabin balcony was pleasingly private & was certainly needed with so many on board and so little pool space available. The crew were all very pleasant and helpful,the ports very enjoyable so our main problem was with the food.The Windjammer was a nightmare--too many people, so food hygiene suffered as you walked round looking for a table and people walked into you,food also became cold.We soon realized the Dining Room (a beautiful room with its 3 deck height & chandeliers)was the only place to get a good meal.This meant we were more curtailed to eating at certain times than on other cruises. The Dining Room was serving buffets at breakfast and lunch to cope with the number of passengers.Dinner was basically 3 courses--soups being included with other starters--again something we had not encountered previously.The food we were served was adequate but not exceptional and no lobster or crab were on any menu in the Dining Room. Overall we now know cruising on this size of ship is not for us personally--it was an interesting experience and we met lovely fellow cruisers from around Ireland &the UK as well as a charming French Canadian couple. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2010
Our first cruise and i have a tendency for seasickness. Could hardly feel any movement the whole week, most of the time i wouldnt have known we were moving. This is definitely not our last, we have already booked another. Royal Caribbean ... Read More
Our first cruise and i have a tendency for seasickness. Could hardly feel any movement the whole week, most of the time i wouldnt have known we were moving. This is definitely not our last, we have already booked another. Royal Caribbean were impressive for us newbies. we had an outside cabin with balcony, listening to the sea at night with the doors open was a dream. The food was spectacular, the service marvellous, we never saw our cabin steward, whenever we returned from breakfast or evening meal the room was sorted for us. Just what we like, no constant knocking on door. Shame the cabin didnt have a kettle as we do like tea early, room service solved this or the occasional trip to 1 of the cafe's for a carryout, i needed the exercise with all the lovely food. Bought a wine package on first day, saved us a bit as wine is a bit dear in all the bars,$9 per glass, but we took a bottle back to the room after dinner and sat on balcony for a short while, bliss. definitely reccomending this style of holiday to all our friends and as we cant compare them to anyone else Royal Caribbean is a must for us. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2010
We are a Norwegian couple who have cruised a lot of times, and we have sailed with various Cruise Lines, including RCCL. Pre-cruise: The pre-paid transfer with RCCL from the airport to the Cruise Terminal, worked very well. The Ship: ... Read More
We are a Norwegian couple who have cruised a lot of times, and we have sailed with various Cruise Lines, including RCCL. Pre-cruise: The pre-paid transfer with RCCL from the airport to the Cruise Terminal, worked very well. The Ship: The Adventure of the Seas is a very nice ship, but as with our last Transatlantic cruise on Adventure of the Seas this year, we think it is beginning to show some wear. We also observed a minor need of refurbishment in our bathroom. On this cruise the ship was a bit crowded. This was most evident in the Buffet Restaurant Windjammer, where it often was difficult to get a table - particularly on sea days. But fortunately the staff in the Windjammer was very service minded and effective! The crew: We were impressed with the crew. Most of them we meet were very friendly. Cabin info- We had booked a balcony cabin on deck 8. It was a nice cabin, but we really think that the chairs and the table on our balcony for a long time should have been renewed. Our cabin attendant from Goa in India was excellent in every way, during the entire cruise. Dining - For the second time on a cruise with Adventure of The Seas, we had booked My Time Dining (MTD). In contrast to our last experience with MTD, this time the waiters some days had too many tables to serve, but we were still generally satisfied with the service. We would specially mention that we appreciated the two hostesses in the Mozart's Dining Room, who very well organized the seating every evening. The food for dinner had a nice presentation, and was mostly tasteful. About the wine package - we were very disappointed with the contents of the wine package. When RCCL cruise in Europe, they should definitely have more European wines in the wine package! The food for breakfast and lunch in the Buffet Restaurant Windjammer was standard buffet food. It was also served buffet breakfast and lunch in the Vivaldi Dining Room on deck three, and menu meals in the Strauss Dining room on deck four, to relieve capacity shortages in the Windjammer. Public areas - pleasing. We also felt that the public areas were very well appointed, but we believe that too much space on the sun deck is reserved for suite passengers. We are pleased that the pool attendants looked after that the Solarium with its adult only area, was respected. The Bars: As with all the RCCL ships we previous have cruised we, we are particularly fond of the Viking Crown Lounge at the top of the ship. Entertainment - we were not impressed with the skill to the Steel Band playing on Pool Deck. The sound level was also too high. Itinerary - we really enjoyed the ports on this Mediterranean cruise. For people who are not first-time travelers, it is relatively easy to get around on your own with public transport in ports of call. Disembarkation in Malaga - as Platinum Members we were offered a private departure lounge with continental breakfast. However, we were extremely disappointed when we saw the contents of that breakfast, and we instead quickly went up to the Windjammer, where we to our surprise without to much trouble found a table to share with another couple. Unfortunately, the assignment to the many shuttle buses from the Cruise Terminal to the Airport was was a scandal. Completely without organization. It was first at the Malaga Airport we again met qualified RCCL employees. Overall - We enjoyed this cruise with RCCL. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2010
Embarkation went fairly smoothly but the main holdup was because of the ships photographer who made you feel that you ought to have an embarkation photo. We declined all of his photo opportunities as did many other cruisers. We were in an ... Read More
Embarkation went fairly smoothly but the main holdup was because of the ships photographer who made you feel that you ought to have an embarkation photo. We declined all of his photo opportunities as did many other cruisers. We were in an inside cabin for the first time - the bathroom fittings were showing some wear & tear but everything was spotlessly clean. The bed had been made up into a double with a small side table on each side but you couldn't actually get down the side of the bed as there was no room at the end of it due to the furniture on one side & a double settee on the other!You had to crawl in from the bottom end of the bed!! Once the bed had been converted to 2 singles there was plenty of room & we really didn't mind the inside cabin. A la Carte food was excellent at 6.45pm (first)sitting, staff were too. Buffet food in the Windjammer was not the best & once you had chosen your food there was often nowhere to sit & eat it. Why let diners in when there is nowhere to sit, especially on embarkation day? We saw long queues for My Time dining & were glad we had not chosen that option.Drinks were expensive & staff were always trying to sell you bottled water, speciality coffees, freshly squeezed orange juice etc & this became annoying. Ice show was great, other shows were professional but little variety & for our sitting often did not start until 9.30 or 10am. There were few available seats in bars/lounges so you just had to wander around aimlessly for an hour or more until the show started. Shops looked good but there was little worth buying, just the usual cruise ship brands of watches, jewellery & clothing. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2010
We arrived on the adventure of the seas and was amazed at how lovely the ship is it is a kind of mind blowing the scale of things on-board. We found our room and was delighted,it was clean nothing fancy and had a view of the central ... Read More
We arrived on the adventure of the seas and was amazed at how lovely the ship is it is a kind of mind blowing the scale of things on-board. We found our room and was delighted,it was clean nothing fancy and had a view of the central street in the middle of the ship. We then watched the parade and walked around to find our bearings. It was then dinner time we went to stern of the ship and had a great meal inside the middle level restaurant and it was nothing less than fantastic. There are quite a few bars on-board and we visited most of them before going to bed at around 1 o'clock we had no excursions for the next day as it was sailing at sea and we were in no rush to get up. When we returned to the room we could hear very load music coming from underneath us which turned out to be an on-board pub call the duck and dog as we lay in our bed we thought well its only one night its not worth getting upset about.The music stopped at around 02 30 and then there was as much shouting laughing etc before it eventually went quiet it was only after that that i fell asleep. The next day was relaxing at sea the two of us were so tired that we had to go to bed in the afternoon but as i said there was no excursion so we did not let it worry us. It was that night it all started to go wrong we had an excursion booked the next day so we went to our room for an early night just as we got into bed the music started and this time i phoned the desk only to be told that there was going to be entertainment in the pub every night so i told them then that i was not prepared to put up with that and that i wanted another room. She said that we would have to put up with it that night and when we came back from our trip we would get a another cabin and another room would be found for us When we turned up at the desk we were then told there was no cabin as the ship was full and there was nothing they could do for us. I went nuts and my girlfriend started crying because we were so tired and we had the rome trip the next day which was the main reason for coming in the first place. When we went in the bus to go to room the two of us had slept no more that 12 hours in three days and it just ruined the trip to rome completely. We were moved the next day to a cabin 4 flights higher up which was great but as far as i am concerned one half of our holiday had been ruined if i wanted to go on holiday and live above a pub i would have went to ibiza. We have since complained to Royal Caribbean and after lengthy delays we had two replies just saying our complaints have been noted and the second one especially angered me because if you read through all the flannel it basically said.TOUGH LUCK. I would like to finish by saying that a lot of british people that had been on other cruises said they would never go on another RC ship and that it was like blackpool on water.I work on the oilrigs for a company called maersk in denmark and i have never been so tired as what i was on the cruise i was glad to get home.I know you cant please all the people all the time but what we went through was just hellish. Gordon Lewis Read Less
Sail Date: September 2010
We've just returned from a med cruise with Royal Caribbean International. We were four people just over 50 with young mentality, reasonably fit, expecting to be bowled over by the whole experience. On the last evening we sat to ... Read More
We've just returned from a med cruise with Royal Caribbean International. We were four people just over 50 with young mentality, reasonably fit, expecting to be bowled over by the whole experience. On the last evening we sat to debate the Pro's & Con's of the trip; the following is our assessment which overall was a good one. Pro's; food excellent and plenty of it, whether you want to quick serve your self or to be waited on, staff were very friendly and the service, again, excellent. Entertainment, plenty to do and see but was a bit bland i.e. shows were amateur, boring quizzes, karaoke; party nights were good but delivered to cater for the Spanish, see Con's. Very clean ship, rooms made-up twice per day, decor modern, sometimes had to pinch yourself that you were on a ship. Con's; drinks very, very expensive; a bottle of Corona Beer was $5.50, plus 8% Spanish Tax, plus 15% service charge. Wine started at around $45 a bottle, plus tax & service charge. We picked up the ship in Malaga where apparently the Spanish are offered last minute deals to fill the rooms; on our particular cruise they made up 70% of the passengers. In my humble opinion; they are the most arrogant, ill-mannered, uncouth race I've ever experienced; pushing past to get into lifts first, no waiting to be seated in restaurants; and smoking must be a national sport, the show hosts spoke mostly in Spanish and rarely acknowledged English and so you didn't know what was going on. To reiterate; overall a nice holiday but not one that we will experience again in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
We had debated a special trip to celebrate my half century and it came down to a choice of a guided tour to Egypt or a cruise. Everyone raves about Royal Caribbean and we wanted to go with them. My favourite was a cruise taking in Venice, ... Read More
We had debated a special trip to celebrate my half century and it came down to a choice of a guided tour to Egypt or a cruise. Everyone raves about Royal Caribbean and we wanted to go with them. My favourite was a cruise taking in Venice, Dubrovnik and Kusadasi, as we were keen to visit Ephesus. However, we could not get a deal that suited our budget and I was not impresssed by the Egypt tour that added 'taxes and charges' of €250 each! So I was surprised to get an email from RCCL in May advertising the Venice-Kusadasi cruise at a price I thought was reasonable. So, I rang my wife, I checked connecting flights, rang her again and then decided to go for it. However, in the intervening hour or 90 mins, the price had moved up significantly. I rang RCCL in England but got no satisfaction. Heartily diasppointed, I went to lunch. Thinking about it over lunch, I decided to go back onto the web and see what the other offer had been. It was a 7 day cruise from Malaga, returning via Sardinia, Rome, Corsica and Majorca. Better still, even with a balcony stateroom, it came in under €1,200 including gratuities. As this was a first cruise, we agreed it was more important to go on the cruise than what cruise it was! So, I booked the cruise and the connecting flights from Belfast to Malaga and counted down the days, courtesy of the online cruise counter! On October 2nd, after a week of birthday celebrations, I was carried calmly by Aer Lingus to Malaga for our first cruise. We had booked a transfer as there were two couples and associated check in bags etc and I had feared that a standard taxi might not cope. The transfer company supplied a minibus and for €52 we travelled in comfort to the port. The return journey was a different experience, see later. First impressions were - "Wow-that ship is huge!" Arrival at the terminal and embarkation was very smooth as we had checked in online and printed our Setsail passes. Just a minor form to fill in and hand over the credit card and we were on. We entered the ship on deck 4 just outside the Vivaldi main restaurant and saw a queue formed outside the dining room. We enquired what it was for and were told that it was for changing dining arrangements. As we were travelling with another coupe and had not been seated together, we queued for ten minutes or so and the head waiter arranged for us to sit together. Off to the windjammer which was already crowded and we managed to get some lunch while sharing a table with some very noisy passengers from some part of Scandinavia, I think. The sheer luxury of the ship was stunning, with panoramic lifts to all decks, the Royal Promenade and the pool deck with spa and sea water swimming pool. One reservation I had was the carpeting of the pool deck. This was wet and unpleasant to the touch of bare foot and people were wearing deck shoes and sandals on this deck. Unhygienic in my opinion. We soon found our stateroom and despite a somewhat stuffy smell, once the balcony door was opened the room was fine. Huge bed (two large singles pushed together and plenty of storage and an adequate ensuite promised a very comfortable trip ahead. We dined in the MDR(main dining room) on level 4, the Vivaldi restaurant. This was formal type dining, very good waiter service. I must say that our waiters, Chetan from India and Eugenio from Panama, were excellent although the spiel about the next day's stop, from waiter and head waiter both, was a bit tedious. The food was generally excellent and was served in a 'cuisine' style, i.e. towering high but not overly generous portions. This suited us, as I like to eat early and little before bed. We dined at 6.45pm and we four shared our table with a lovely couple from Yorkshire, Beryl and Brian. This meant we caught the early show most nights except two when we dined in the Windjammer. While the food in the Windjammer was plentiful and most nights we managed to get a table to ouurselves, it could be crowded. I did not like the melamine plates and bowls but it was quite adequate. Overall the food was excellent although my wife was disappointed that there was not more, varied seafood. Eventually, we had to cut back or skip lunch to ensure we were ungry for dinner. The entertainment on the ship was excellent. The RCCL singers and dancers were of the highest quality and the cruise director, Anthony Richards, was very slick in English and Spanish. The shows were well produced and lasted only 45-50 minutes so you did not get too much. A couple of nights the entertainment continued on the Royal Promenade with a 70s night one night, featuring a YMCA tribute etc. On three nights the acts were 'imported', a Beatles tribute band, a Gypsy Kings tribute act and , on the last night, Las Gauchos, an 'Argentinian' act with drums and boleros, very funny and entertaining. There was also a puppet show fetauring fluorescent puppets which was excellent. Well done to all the entertainers! Service on the ship was excellent, no doubt inspired by the culture of tipping. Our stateroom attendant, Jose, was very attentive, every night a different animal shape from towels and even conjured up a maintenance man when I casually asked if he had a screwdriver to fix my bag handle. Having said that, the usually ubiqitous Jose was nowhere to be seen when I went looking for him on the lst night, after gratuities had been dispensed. I finally surprised him the next morning when I went to try and sort out our Seapass account (more later..). Our final day at sea saw us sail very slowly back to Malaga. The ship was full but we always got sunbeds. That might be due to the fact that nearly half the passengers were Spanish and they may have thought that the weather was nice for strolling in but not warm enough for sunbathing. Got a bit burned on the last day but it could have been worse! As a regular checker of my Seapass account, I was stunned to see that I had been charged $72 for shuttle bus tickets to Palma, Majorca and $20 for minibar charges which we had studiously avoided using. To get this rectified took 6 trips to Guest Relations, 4 that evening and 2 the next morning. At last it was fixed up to an amount that tallied with my own reckoning. Disembarkation was almost as smooth as embarkation had been. We had chosen a relatively late time of 8.30 to 9.00 for our preferred time of disembarkation but were allocated 8.00am. The night before, we had to leave our luggage outside the stateroom to be retrieved in the terminal. This went very smoothly. I had worried about getting a taxi from the port to the airport and had pre-booked a transfer but I had failed to phone them 24 hrs in advance. So, when I rang them at 8.00 on the last morning, I was told no one was available to do the pick up! I need not have worried. There were loads of taxis outside the terminal and the driver had no trouble stuffing our luggage and us into a Seat Leon! The fare to the airport was only €30. Lesson learned. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise experience. Drink onboard seemed quite expensive, being charged in dollars doesn't help. Having gotten the first cruise over, the next time I will pay more attention to the itinerary. It is a lovely way to travel. On the downside, I don't like the constant nibbling of Royal Caribbean in terms of service charges for drinks, for the wine package we bought which went from $180 to $221 when they added IVA and 'service charge', not to mention the prices of their excursions. There was also the mix up with my Seapass account! We had company with us and we met a lovely English couple at dinner. Had we not, then there would have been few English speakers to socialise with as half the passengers were Spanish. We will definitely consider another cruise with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2010
Booked direct with RCI on-line. Original booked ocean view guarantee but was given deck 2 so changed to balcony guarantee (x category) and was given D2 on deck 8 which was great. Booked our flights separately with BMIBaby Birmingham to ... Read More
Booked direct with RCI on-line. Original booked ocean view guarantee but was given deck 2 so changed to balcony guarantee (x category) and was given D2 on deck 8 which was great. Booked our flights separately with BMIBaby Birmingham to Malaga, flew on the morning of cruise (was insured!) and arrived pretty much on time. Taxi very easy to get outside airport - 30 euros, approx 25 minutes. Dropped off outside cruise terminal which I would describe as chaotic. Logged cases in and then joined the masses to check ourselves in; it took about 30 minutes. Then suddenly we were walking up to the ship, photo taken and we were in! Cabins available 1pm, suitcases followed within 30 minutes. Room very clean etc. Sailed away 5pm to Ajaccio. Malaga at the time was very warm, and from there in went downhill! There was so much to do on the ship, being without the family we made the most of doing things we perhaps wouldn't get time to do, namely the gym, cocktail seminar, various bars and of course the nightclub. We had originally booked second sitting which we changed after hearing that the Spanish dominated this time. This was the right thing to do, however 6.45 was too early for us especially without children. However we had a fabulous waiter Mustafa from Turkey who made sure he knew what we liked/disliked by the end of the first night. He was great. Late breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer was like a circus. Not for those lacking in patience! Spanish travellers enjoying late so if you don't like the masses have breakfast before 9.30 and lunch before 1.30 otherwise you will be fighting for a table; we enjoyed sharing so it wasn't too bad. The food in the Windjammer was always hot, a bit repetitive but certainly something for everyone. The food in the dining room (we had Vivaldi) was excellent and portions not too big so plenty of room for drinks! We didn't go in the pool but it was never too busy (may be the weather didn't help) and I have seen comments before about children being in the adult pool areas but I have to say I did not witness this once. I did see plenty of sun loungers being 'reserved' with a towel for well over the allowed 30 minutes and this was never enforced. The ship itself is looking a bit worn, but it still was fantastic. The shops are the usual RCI stuff and with the Spanish 8% tax (plus 15% service charge where appropriate) things were expensive. The gym was great, my friend paid for boot camp which was OK. We used the spa; my friend bought me a facial for 30 minutes, I went a couple of days later to have the treatment and they gave me an hour (I didn't realise what I was supposed to have) and they never said anything. It wasn't until my friend saw her account (it was charged afterwards) that we realised what they had done. When queried we were told 'well you had the treatment so you have to pay' which was fine but VERY naughty so please always confirm before the treatment starts what you are having! The various bars were great, something for everyone's taste; the Dog & Duck pub was always full and lively. The champagne bar was excellent (Mr Howard) and Ligia (I believe bar manager) was also fantastic. If you don't see your cocktail on the list, just ask - they are supposed to know everyone! The only thing for us being non-smokers was that some of these areas were far too smokey for us to enjoy. We were surprised at just how many areas were for smokers (compared to Freedom a couple of years ago). Jesters nightclub was great, didn't get started til after 11. We had ladies night one night and 5 members of staff did a kind of full monty to their boxers which was hilarious. There were all different ages both on the ship and in the nightclub but no youngsters. The music varied but was really good. It stayed open til the last man standing; we left at 4am but some Irish ladies left at 5.30am! There were so many different types of people, we met some really nice folk of all nationalities - you can be as quiet or lively as you want. We didn't bother with the shows. I did try the bingo ONCE and that was enough. $22 for ONE go. There must have been 60 passengers and the prize money was $300 which was terrible. They only played one game and that was it. We did try the casino however and that was great fun. Happy hour 9 til 10pm, $1 per go on selected tables. Being new to a casino staff were very happy to explain the rules. Halloween was celebrated on the ship - the carved pumpkin display was amazing. There was a children's parade and an adult type party/parade; some of the costumes (by passengers) was really great, a really fun atmosphere. Formal night was great, most passengers 'dressed up' for the main dining service. The waiters were singing away, a great party atmosphere, not too 'formal'. The photographer was at the entrance of the dining room to take your photo ($19.95 PLUS tax). We found the price of drinks ok. Don't forget the mandatory 15% service charge on ALL purchased drinks PLUS 8% Spanish tax. So to give you an idea of what to expect, price total: 1 litre bottled Evian= $4.86, malibu & pineapple: $6.76, gin and tonic: $6.76. We pre-purchased a couple of bottle of wine through the gift shop and had them delivered to our stateroom. The price displayed (say £20 per bottle) was the final price and was charged before sailing. I think if we had purchased on ship then you have the tax etc on top so I would suggest pre-purchasing via gifts before you sail. On day one you have the opportunity of purchasing a wine, water and soda package. Some longer sailings allow you to do this pre-cruise but for our 5 nights it was not possible, only through gifts. Our two ports of call - Ajaccio, Corsica & Toulon were fine - but not at this time of year! The weather was terrible (cold and wet) so jumpers and jeans were a must. We got off at Ajaccio, a simple walk off the ship and we were in amongst the market. There were plenty of tourist type shops but the rest of the interesting ones were closed because it was Sunday. If you are there when the shops are open, head for the side streets are there were some great little shops (well from the front window!). As for Toulon, unfortunately the rain was flooding streets and we were told that it was a Bank Holiday so hardly anything open. RCI offered you a bus transfer ($6 each way) which would take '25 to 45 minutes' or there were taxis available. We stayed on ship but passengers fed back that the shopping centre was open (C&A etc) but nothing much else. Like any place, in the sun it looks totally different! Our balcony room was fine - the balcony quite a bit smaller than Freedom but OK considering our weather! Our stateroom attendant was excellent and friendly, nothing was too much trouble and made a huge effort with the towel animals (the bat on Halloween was hilarious!). We paid $US cash on our account as already had at home. You can add your credit card at any time or pay with cash when you leave (day before). It is a good idea to have $ cash on you in case you do go to the casino. If you charge it to your sea pass account there is an extra 3% fee, minimum $50 or if you exchange say euros to dollars to buy chips the exchange rate isn't that great. We opted for late departure - our flight out was 14.45 and it was worth the £22 each. Latest leaving time for your room is 9am (breakfast closed at 8.30am) but we were out and on the top deck enjoying the sunshine pretty early. We left the ship at 12.15 after an early lunch (Windjammer opens 11am - new passengers were already coming on board). Off the ship on the cruise terminal itself suitcases were 'stored' near the exit - we were alarmed at the lack of security here. But within 15 minutes we were out and in a taxi (the rank is very easy to see). Malaga airport was clean and with plenty of shops to occupy you. We would definitely go again - both with and without children but not head north from Malaga at this time of year, only the Canaries. Only problem was that we needed a good few days at home to recover after this one! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
This was our third RC cruise and we have done one cruise with Celebrity who are now owned by RC. When we arrived in Malaga it was pouring down and the embarkation procedure was quite chaotic! There were lots of Spanish people outside the ... Read More
This was our third RC cruise and we have done one cruise with Celebrity who are now owned by RC. When we arrived in Malaga it was pouring down and the embarkation procedure was quite chaotic! There were lots of Spanish people outside the embarkation shed, all with umbrellas and blocking the way! Once we had checked in, we went to the stateroom on deck 8 which we found to be spotlessly clean but showing signs of some wear and tear. Our luggage soon arrived and we were very well served by our cabin boy all week. Risto was always smiling and was always efficient but never intrusive. Our first visit to the restaurant was disappointing. We were on a table for 8 people but on the first night, most of us left food as the meat was tough and under-cooked. The service was slow so after the second night of dining in the Mozart restaurant, we decided to eat future meals in the Windjammer. In the evening, it was quiet there, and the food was always good. Sometimes at breakfast time, the Windjammer was crowded but if you went early enough, there was no problem. The staff were always polite and were keen to ensure you were happy with your meals. The entertainment on board ship was good on the whole, but the ice show was absolutely fantastic! We enjoyed all the ports of call and just did one RC excursion into Rome. The organisation of this trip was first class and the courier was very informative. The disembarkation from the ship went like clockwork and we were soon whisked off to the airport. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise but the ship was very full and I think we will consider a Celebrity ship if we cruise again in the future. Read Less
Adventure of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 5.0 3.8
Public Rooms 5.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 1.0 3.6
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.0

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