Sail Date: October 2010
As we were on a selfdrive tour into Portugal and Spain we thought being a good idea to insert a short cruise and the 6 night Western Med. with Adventure of the Seas was just convenient despite we decided to avoid big ships after our ... Read More
As we were on a selfdrive tour into Portugal and Spain we thought being a good idea to insert a short cruise and the 6 night Western Med. with Adventure of the Seas was just convenient despite we decided to avoid big ships after our transatlantic experience onboard Navigator of the Seas last year; after all it was for a short week and only 2 seadays. Check'in was perfect (we booked parking for our car with RedParking near Malaga Airport for 54 Euro inclusive a return transfer to the ship; just great !). Only after being recognised as Platinium Crown & Anchor member we got a nice table for two for dinner. As we were early on board, the cabin was not ready yet, so we went for a drink to the windjammer and heard some guest ordering a glass of red wine and paying 9 $ ! So we ordered a nice bottle instead at only 27 $ (plus Spanish VAT and service = 33 $). Afterwards we experienced drinks in the bars are really expensive (cheapest cocktail about 7 $ plus VAT and 15 % service). We bought a Platinium Wine Package (average per bottle about 20 $ + VAT and service) but twice the bottle we ordered was out of stock ! Dinner in main restaurant was ok, menu with enough choice (although reduced compared to the extensive menus we got with RCI on earlier cruises) and the service was friendly and professional (waiter from India, ass.waiter from Servia). We saw a lot of guests going to the buffet dinner (good quality and enough choice) in Windjammer, especially young people and families with kids. Real disappoining are the two formal (gala ?) dinners: no special menu, no champaign, no special dessert and the same boring spectacle of singing (?) restaurant crew with the same songs as 15 years ago, no captains table ... time for change ! For breakfast we went only once to the overcrowded Windjammer; for breakfast we tried once also the à la carte (slow service) but the breakfast buffet in the main restaurant was ok. For lunch same problem in Windjammer especially on seadays; but lunch in the main restaurant was fine and at ease. We preferred to explore Ajaccio and Cagliari on our own so we were very happy with the free shuttle service; Rome we visited many times before so we just walked around in Civitavecchia and we enjoyed it. The ship itself we do'nt like so much, the promenade is to crowded and noisy and as we said before every drinkstop costs ! It was also disappointing to see a nice quality coffee machine serving only ... hot water and the free coffee was poor quality. Conclusion: it was a fair cruise for the price we paid (about 600 € pp) but too many small irritating things that we never experienced on smaller RCI ships; overall we quote this cruise not higher than our earlier cruises with Costa Cruises and MSC and even lower than NCL Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
Just come back today from B2B on Adventure out of Malaga. I'll try and be concise, but am a bit tired and might be a trifle incoherent. Flew out from Gatwick a day early and stayed in a very cost effective central Malaga ... Read More
Just come back today from B2B on Adventure out of Malaga. I'll try and be concise, but am a bit tired and might be a trifle incoherent. Flew out from Gatwick a day early and stayed in a very cost effective central Malaga hotel (Don Curro) Got to the port at 1000 for a totally seamless check in. Got on the ship in time for nice early lunch in the Windjammer, which has become a bit of a tradition for us. Lunch was excellent. In truth ship is a trifle tired, but that does not detract from the ship, it is beautiful. Staff was the best I have experienced on all my times on RCI ships. Dining room staff, Towel staff, Casino Staff, all bar staff, (especially casino and Champagne bar), Room attendant (Mirafe was room attendant and was quiet, unobtrusive but incredibly efficient). all conducted themselves over and above what was expected. Will particularly mention Ashmeed, Head waiter Mozart Dining. We had a minor hick up first night. We don't moan but were casually chatting and from that point on for the next 9 nights Ashmeed looked after us in every possible dining respect. Truly made this the best dining experience we have ever had on a cruise. The weather was pretty poor to be honest, but I can honestly say this did not detract from our holiday one jot. Can only recommend both the ship, and the company RCI always comes up trumps for my cruises and this time was no exception Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
Arrival and Checkin We flew from Bristol to Malaga same day as the cruise, couldnt get there any sooner because of work commitments, flight was on time though, when we landed at Malaga we got the train into Malaga town (1.35euro) ... Read More
Arrival and Checkin We flew from Bristol to Malaga same day as the cruise, couldnt get there any sooner because of work commitments, flight was on time though, when we landed at Malaga we got the train into Malaga town (1.35euro) then a cab which was 12 euro to the ahip, we've sailed bigger and smaller vessels before but Adventure still seemed a good size as we approached, checkin was a breeze, about 15 mins from arrival to getting on the ship (once you go through security there is a duty free shop where you can buy alcohol as there is no further scanning, we didnt but saw people who did), had the obligatory welcome photo and then got onboard, Ship was very clean and although there were signs of wear hear and there is was in a good state of repair, we headed straight to the Windjammer as I am a fan of the honey stung chicken, after lunch we explored the promenade and then dropped our bags in the cabin and walked around taking photos while it was still quiet, Cabin we were in a Promenade Cabin, had one of these on Freedom a few years back so we knew what they were like, as in previous cruises we hardly spend any time in the cabin so for us we would rather save the money to spend onboard. Our cabin steward did not intoduce himself until day 3 but we had no complaints with the service. Food We did not eat in the Dining room at all this cruise, we attempted to go for Breakfast and Lunch but gave up when we saw the queues, the Windjammer was fine though, plenty of choice at all sittings, we were lucky as we like to eat early but if you wanted to go later it tended to get very very crowded as the Spanish onboard liked to eat as a group, later and tended to stay and hog the tables after finishing eating. Entertainment The procuction shows were good, usual RC stuff, because of the language barrier the other entertainment was a juggler type artist on two nights and an IL divo tribute group who were excellent. The Cruise Director, Antony Richard, was excellent throughout, we went to the various Karaoke evening, Captains coctail party and the Crown and Anchor welcome back, we also did the Theatre backstage tour, this was excellent as you appreciate what a good job ther performers out on in a limited space. We saw the Ice show twice, again this was great, we also went to the Captains Q&A Disembarkation Final day, you get the usual feeling that the Crew just want you off, we came off at 0900 and as it was warm we walked back into Malaga from the Port, took about 20 mins, train back to the Airport and sadly the flight home. And finally.... We had a great time, the ship was excellent, thing I didn't like was as there was a high percentage of Spaniards on board it got quite rowdy, they would take over areas of the ship and if you were sat in the middle of them they just shouted across the room, the CD gave all announcements in english and spanish, this is the first time I've ever heard this and never heard it on any cruises out of the US. Would do this cruise again though. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
We booked the Cruise fairly late, through a local trusted travel agent. Our flights, via Easy Jet were independent of the Cruise and were fine for what they were - no complaints.Upon arrival at Malaga, having collected our luggage we were ... Read More
We booked the Cruise fairly late, through a local trusted travel agent. Our flights, via Easy Jet were independent of the Cruise and were fine for what they were - no complaints.Upon arrival at Malaga, having collected our luggage we were met by two RCCL reps who directed us to the area to collect our inclusive transfer. As per usual, we did not see our luggage again until it was delivered to our State Room.We were lucky, in that the coach left the airport within 5 minutes of our boarding; however, one passenger was moaning that they had been waiting for ages. I guess that is the luck of the draw.The coach journey from the airport to the Cruise Port was approx. 20 minutes and was comfortable and uneventful.Upon arrival at the port two long lines had formed, one for those with luggage (independent travelers), the other, for those without luggage, such as us.Although appearing long, the lines moved very quickly, and within a few minutes we were within the terminal and were directed to an even shorter line, which moved even quicker to the check in staff.Be careful....the Spanish don't know the meaning of the word line, and if you give an inch, they will take a mile and push in where they can, this was experienced throughout the trip. We cant however, blame RCCL for this!As we had completed our Cruise questionnaire online and have printed the 'Sea Pass', if we were at the check in desk for longer than three minutes it was a long time. We were there just long enough for RCCL to take an imprint of my pre registered credit card, to be issued with our charge/key cards and to complete a health questionnaire.We then followed the signs and headed onto the ship via a welcome aboard photo. Being a Coke Drinker, as usual I signed up for the Soda package, which provided I had at least three soft drinks a day (which I did), worked out to be very good value.Being the 'foodie' that I am, upon embarkation we headed straight to the Windjammer Cafe on Deck 11. As expected, it was busy, but again, lines moved quickly and we quickly found a table to sit at.I cant stress enough, that now having done a number of Cruises, I must say that the food served in the Windjammer was fantastic, probably, the freshest, hottest, well presented and variety that I have come across.Having fed my rotund stomach, we headed to our Room, 8226, which was port side virtually at the front with a balcony.The room was exactly as expected, being well proportioned, very clean, ample closet space, nice balcony ......in fact, no different than any other Cruise Line in size (although layout slightly different) and more than adequate. My only complaint, although again, not RCCLs fault, as we booked so late the position of this cabin was the only one available, therefore we had a long walk to get anywhere.Over the years, we have seen all Cruise lines cut back a little each year. On this Cruise we noted that no toiletries were provided except for soak and shampoo. Long gone are the days of robes and luxury toiletries being provided it would seem. The one disappointing item (which my Mrs. Wont be impressed with, with me mentioning) was that we did not receive a little chocolate on our pillow at night. When I casually enquired about this I was told that RCCL ceased this practice three years earlier.......which I'm not sure is actually the case.We had a walk around the ship. Full compliments to RCCL for what really is a beautiful vessel in excellent decorative order. The weather had a lot to be desired and therefore we were unable to make use of the Swimming Pools or Sun Decks, but they certainly matched every other ship we have been on.Although not for us, the external rock climbing wall was impressive as was the Ice Skating ring, which despite my wife's best intentions, she never actually got round to using.On a Cruise ship I normally spend half my time waiting for lifts. Strangely, on this ship the lifts were fast and we noticeably didn't have to wait long.Having Cruised with RCCL some 17 years previously, we failed to mention this when we booked. Whilst in the UK, through our travel agents RCCL acknowledged our previous cruise and therefore we were entered into the Crown and Anchor society. When on board, we identified that this had not been carried across to our room key (indication) and that no other benefits were provided. Upon visit the guest relations lady, who was more than helpful, she noted our previous cruise, applied labels to our room keys and issued us with the discount booklet and ensured we were invited to the welcome back party.The discount book was well worth having as it included discounts on the Internet packages, free drinks and discounts to onboard purchases.Having packed my laptop so that we could communicate with our Children via Skype and so that I could log into my office and check emails etc.....we purchased a 500 minute Internet Package, which, in the end was excessive which cost us $145.00 with discount from the discount book. I was disappointed that the data socket in our room did not work and we did not have Wi-Fi in our cabin. This left us using a few Wi-Fi Hotspots around the ship. RCCL - if anything, please enable the Data sockets in the cabins or provide Wi-Fi throughout!Internet Access throughout our trip, whilst not as fast as land based was more than adequate.Dinner time - we opted for first sitting at 6.45 and requested a table of 8. We got exactly what we asked for and were seated with 6 other people from the UK, all of whom were very pleasant. The choice of food would suit anyone's palette. Our Waiter was very attentive and polite, always offering his recommendation of the day having gone into great detail about each course. Equally, the assistant waiter was very efficient. On the first evening I requested a regular coke. From that moment on, every evening upon sitting down a regular coke would appear, and when that was finished, it was replaced as was my wife's water. Likewise, another member of our table had a taste for ketchup with everything, low and behold, a bottle of ketchup was by her seat each evening. The meal was three courses (most other Cruises have been 4 courses) and no petite pours afterwards (first cruise never to be offered these), but plenty of tea and coffee. Although not on the menu, I asked for Cheese and Biscuits in place of (or on occasion as well as) dessert which was forthcoming with a good selection of cheese.The Head Waiter came to our table each evening and spoke to each of us in turn ensuring that we were delivering what was expected....and it was.On three of the evenings the waiters did a song and dance routine, which was appreciated by all and were great photo opportunities.My wife and I took the opportunity of having breakfast in each of the locations offered on different days, this being the Windjammer, one of three restaurants which offered a buffet and another of the three restaurants which offered À la carte. The choice and quality of food in each was fantastic. The advantage of the A la carte menu was that I could have Kippers, a personal favorite of mine. In the end, the Windjammer was a personal favorite for variety with everything you would expect for a Full English Breakfast, to Continental Breakfast and everything in between. All served freshly, hot and tasty. As expected, an Omelet Station was also provided and there were no long lines for toast (of which there were several options available).Whilst lunch was available in one of the Dining Rooms we chose to lunch each day, except the final day in the Windjammer. For those that wanted them, they had hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza as well as full lunches with a different carvery each day with a variety of potatoes, vegetables and salads.On our last day on board we sampled Jonny Rockets which had a small surcharge for as much as you could eat. The restaurant is an American themed restaurant serving burgers, hotdogs, shakes, floats etc.....with the waiters performing a show and dancing every half an hour. Withy prior knowledge of what was on offer, due to our own dietary constraints we could not eat any of the meat products, however, everyone else was commenting on how great it all tasted.RCCL - Please note. We were very disappointed to note that unlike any other Cruise we have ever been on, the Windjammer Cafe closed each evening with no Midnight Buffet (acknowledged as being a thing of the past). Whilst a Cafe on the Promenade deck (deck 5) is open 24 hours, the only items available were slices of pizza, cakes and biscuits. I have come accustomed to visiting the 24 hour buffet, if only to look and not eat (well, I normally have something!) before bed, after all, with the first dining sitting being at 6.45 pm I can get hungry!Unusually for us, we only ordered room service once; this was for early morning coffee and tea to our room. It arrived earlier than expected, but in fairness, they telephoned us ahead to say it was on route. The Room service menu was comprehensive, although RCCL charged for room service between midnight and 05.00 - only approx $4, but still something we are not used to.The Cruise Director and his staff were excellent. There were three parades along the main 'Royal Promenade' during the Cruise which can be compared to a Disney Main Street Parade. Whilst we only attended the last one, we were told they were very enjoyable.The ship provided entertainment each evening with two shows included. Unfortunately, whilst they were to a high standard they were not to our personal liking. The shows did not have a story line as such with a few of us, despite the noise, dropping off to sleep. It is clear that when a Cruise has many non English guests, such as this Cruise had, the feasibility of having comics is unlikely and a decent proportion of the guests would not be able to understand the humor or the language. It was very interesting and important to note that during the behind the scenes tour we were told that a show lasts on a ship for up to 5 years, therefore, depending on when you travel, if you were to travel on this vessel again in the near future you would more than likely see the same entertainment, excepting guest entertainers of course.The Ice show was particularly good, repeated twice a day on each of the two sea days. However, the Ice Skaters did fall over a few times during each show! Until the end of the show it was difficult to guess what the theme of the show was...it turned out to be fashion.As expected, the onboard Orchestra was excellent as was the Pianist in the Schooner Bar and other music provided at various bars around the ship.The Bingo was well attended and presented well, unfortunately, we didn't win anything but the cash prizes were decent amounts.Being old and tired we didn't venture into the Disco.Like so many other ships, this cruise included an art auction, which is something my wife and I particularly enjoy. As usual, despite my wife holding my arm down so I couldn't bid, I won and we ended up purchasing two items of art at fantastic value. The auctioneer was excellent in his delivery and knowledge of the works of art and his team was very professional. It has to be acknowledged that the Spanish generally don't purchase art at sea and the contingent of the guests was not the type that would ordinarily purchase art. I therefore doubt that despite his best efforts if the auctioneer met his target! The free champagne was flowing at each auction.RCCL Please note - we were very disappointed with the goods sold within your on board shops. RCCL missed lots of opportunity to sell branded goods such as photo albums and RCCL branded chocolate etc... which would have made ideal gifts; unfortunately we had to purchase gifts on land. Our Cruise included two ports of call, Tenerife and Madeira, whilst a Varity of Ship Excursions were available none of them appealed to us, so we got off the ship and made our own arrangements.Disembarkation was simple and unhurried, unlike previous cruises we did not feel that we were being pushed off the ship.Value for money - In my opinion excellent value for money. Whilst know one ever pays brochure price I can tell you that the price we paid in total, which included the flights (and one suitcase each), plus transfer to and from the ship was exceptional. There was talk around the ship that some passengers paid £150.00! Each (for an inside cabin)...if true, £150.00 for a 5 night inclusive cruise is unbelievable. Whilst I am not crying for RCCL, even with the quantity of scales involved (over 3000 passengers and 1,200 crew) it is difficult to see how RCCL made any money, maybe this is why the little things that I have picked up on that we expected and weren't in place, were indeed, not included. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
My DW and I celebrated our 25th Anniversary by traveling to Spain. As part of the trip, we took a 5-day RCCL cruise on the Adventure of the Seas from Malaga, Spain. We had three ports: Palma, Mallorca; Ajaccio, Corsica; and Toulon, France. ... Read More
My DW and I celebrated our 25th Anniversary by traveling to Spain. As part of the trip, we took a 5-day RCCL cruise on the Adventure of the Seas from Malaga, Spain. We had three ports: Palma, Mallorca; Ajaccio, Corsica; and Toulon, France. The cruise ported in Barcelona, Spain. We had a marvelous time on the AOS. The trip got off to a terrific start in that the morning we left the USA to fly over we had received notification that we had been up-graded to a junior suite from a balcony cabin. Boy were we spoiled in the JS. Thanks RCCL for making our trip one we will always remember. We departed for Spain a few days early and rented a cozy apartment in Malaga. It was down in the central area about a 10-minute walk to the port. We cannot say enough about Malaga. It is one of the best-kept secrets in Spain. The sites were great and the people very friendly. We would go back in a heartbeat. The embarkation was a breeze and we were on the ship in less than 30 minutes. The AOS is in terrific shape. We ate all of our meals in the Windjammer and were quite pleased. There was always quite a selection, including carved turkey on Thanksgiving night. There were more than 30 different countries represented amongst the passengers. There were more Americans than had been on previous AOS cruises from Malaga this season. The weather was bright and sunny the first half of the trip before the cold front settled in across much of Europe. The final two days of the cruise the temps were unseasonably cool. We were dressed in layers and did not have any problems. We liked the shows on board. There was a Temptations tribute from a group of five men from South Africa that was especially good. One note is that the shows were not as well attended as we had observed on other cruises. The three ports were all very interesting. We especially liked Palma and Ajaccio. The Cathedral and Almudaina Palace are must-sees in Palma. The debarkation in Barcelona was a piece of cake. We hopped a cab and stayed at the Hilton Diagonal Mar for a couple of days post-cruise. We can't say enough about the entire trip. We had another outstanding experience with RCCL. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
Our first cruise was with Royal Caribbean on the Adventure of the Seas from Malaga on the 8th of November 2010. The reason for the cruise was as a taster for a longer cruise in 2012 to celebrate our silver wedding and to see if my wife ... Read More
Our first cruise was with Royal Caribbean on the Adventure of the Seas from Malaga on the 8th of November 2010. The reason for the cruise was as a taster for a longer cruise in 2012 to celebrate our silver wedding and to see if my wife could enjoy a cruise. We had read numerous reviews of the ship and the five night cruises from Malaga with differing ratings and conclusions and so were a little concerned. We booked a Promenade inside cabin and again we were concerned, after booking, about the reported noise from the promenade deck. The following is a review of the cruise and our findings: Monday: We flew with Easyjet from Glasgow to Malaga. Flight was ok despite the seat pitch being a little tight. I am 6'7" and the pitch is 29". We had booked a private transfer and on reaching Malaga we were approached by a rep from Royal Caribbean to ask if we were going on the Adventure. When we told her we had arranged a private transfer online we were told bruskly to "go over there." Our transfer was through Nerja Taxis and all I can say was WOW. Our driver took our bags and escorted us to the car; a black Audi A6. Our holiday had just begun. We were dropped off at the terminal and joined the massive queue that went along the side of the terminal. After standing for about 10 minutes a porter came up and took the couple in front of us away. A porter then came up and took our bag and spirited us away towards the front of the terminal. He checked our bags in and motioned for us to go over there. "Over where?" I asked. He again motioned to go over there and when I didn't understand he escorted me into the terminal and placed me in the queue in front of a couple right next to the security check. I felt really bad as I had just been whisked to the front of the queue and it is just not a British thing to do. It was later explained it was because we had checked in online and had our seapass documentation and labels but on my whirlwind journey to the front of the queue I saw others with documentation and labels. Our check in went smoothly and we were told to go to Gate B. We bypassed the boarding photography as we both looked rather bedraggled and thought a memento of our image was not advisable. We walked along the tunnel and were waved past the stern gangway. I am disabled and by this time was dead beat and in a fair bit of pain. We entered the ship via the bow gangway, our pictures were taken for security and we headed to deck 7. We found our cabin and to our joy the cabin was ready. On opening the door I expected a small claustrophobic room with very little space. What we found was a compact cabin with a nice double bed and to our joy the cabin was lit. The bay window facing us looked onto the Promenade deck which had the shops and bars etc. We dumped our cases and headed off for something to eat. On reaching the Windjammer restaurant we were amazed to see a mass of people all milling about. There was no way we would get in. We went for a walk to explore the ship and lodge some funds on our Seapass account as we don't have a credit card and came back an hour later to see if matters had improved. They hadn't. It was explained to us that due to the Spanish culture they tended to sit on even after the meal was finished and so hog tables that were needed. We went back to our cabin and our first meal on board the ship was a box of mini snickers from the minibar in our cabin. We read our copy of the ship's paper and headed off to the Promenade Bar where we managed to get some pizza, cakes and the all important mug of tea. After refuelling we went back to the cabin to prepare for the muster drill and got ready for dinner. We were in the first sitting (18:45) and so headed off around 18:40 to the Mozart restaurant on deck 5. We were shown to our table and our waiter introduced himself. We had asked for a table for 2 but were at a table for 8. A guest at our back was complaining as he had asked for a large table as he was sociable and had been sat at a table for 4. We said we would swap but it was frowned upon. Our fellow diners came from South Wales, Dublin and Liverpool and so language wasn't a problem. Our dinner went without a hitch but the other diners had problems. One asked for soup and was given the fruit starter which he was unable to eat. The same guest and his wife asked for the sirloin and received a large slab of red bloody meat. It turned out that this was the Fillet Mignon which was an extra at $14.95. The soup was never forthcoming and the steak was not what was requested plus it was an expense that wasn't explained. After dinner we headed off to our cabin as we were exhausted and so we ordered some room service and were bunkered down by 22:00 with an expectation of noise caused by the 23:15 parade. Much to our joy we heard nothing as our cabin (7609) was at the stern end of the Promenade deck and looked onto a massive sculpture. The location of the cabin was next to the stern lifts and the library. Tuesday (At Sea) We rose early and headed off to the Windjammer restaurant for breakfast. Buffet was excellent with a choice of pastries, fruit, cereal and fried food. If you want English bacon and sausages go right through to the Island Grill as the first food station has the Spanish bacon and sausages which are cooked to oblivion. Food was warm. After breakfast we went out on deck and had a stroll. We found a cosy spot on Deck 12 at the stern and stretched out on a deck chair for some sea air. We met a couple we had seen the other day at the Windjammer and they said they had eaten dinner in the Windjammer the night before and it had been cold. We sat there till noon and then went to Johnny Rockets which is an American Diner. There is a cover charge of $4.95 per head but it covers all you can eat. You can, if you want or are able, have one of everything on the menu. After lunch we went exploring and had a great afternoon. We went to the afternoon iceshow which was excellent and very professional. The Captain made an announcement that due to bad weather and high seas it had been decided to postpone our visit to Ajaccio on day 3 till day 4 and we would visit Toulon instead. Dinner this evening was the formal dinner and as we had not brought any formal clothing we decided to have dinner in the Windjammer. The formal menu wasn't that great and included such delights as L'escargot. I had some oxtail broth which was a brown clear soup with bits of vegetables floating in it with a greasy scum on top. The soup was tepid to cold. My main course comprised of some mashed potato, some sauted mushrooms, some wild mushrooms in a cream sauce and 4 cubes of curried beef. All of which were cold. The deserts were good and plentiful. We went back to our cabin and ordered room service. We then sat and watched the other passengers in their finery. We went to bed around 22:00 and nodded off with ease. At 01:00 the phone rang but nobody was there. The phone rang again and nobody was there. The door got knocked but nobody was there. The door got rattled and the phone rang but nobody was there. I then hung behind the door looking through the spyhole but saw nobody. A fellow passenger, however, did catch somebody and gave them a good tongue lashing. Wednesday (Scheduled Ajaccio - Actual Toulon) Arose on Wednesday morning to see ship dock in Toulon at 06:00. Went to the bow and opened the door to be met with torrential rain. The sky lit up completely and we were deafened by thunder. It looked like an interesting day ahead. We went to the Windjammer for breakfast and watched as the lightening flashed. A number of passengers decided not to go ashore due to the weather. After breakfast we went back to the cabin and caught 40 winks. When we went out on deck at 10:00 it was better weather and we saw the French Naval base as we were docked across the port from it. I took some pictures of the destroyers, frigates, assault ships and hulks. We even saw a submarine return to port. The ship was buzzed by a RIB with three French Marines onboard. I gave them a wave but didn't get a reply. We spent the day onboard chilling out and eating. Lunch was in the Windjammer and again the food was cold. We sailed at 18:00 and after dinner at Johnny Rockets we went out on deck 4 for a walk and some fresh air. The sea condition was interesting and I got a fair bit of spray which was fine by me as I'm ex navy and like an interesting passage. We tried again later to get out in order to get some air but the exit doors were closed off, I imagine for safety. The Captain made an announcement that Ajaccio was still dangerous and so we would be stopping at Palma de Mallorca instead. It was interesting during the night as we could feel the movement of the ship whilst in bed. Thursday (Scheduled Toulon - Actual Palma) Got up and had breakfast in main dining room today. Choice was good and food was hot. Went up on deck to watch ship coming into port as we docked at 11:00. It was a glorious day and the sun shone on the mountains. As we came into Palma we could see the cathedral and the castle on the hill. We decided to stay on board and again just relax. Lunch was in the Windjammer and was passable. The afternoon was spent going crazy with the camera. Dinner was in the Windjammer and again the food was cold. Went to the show that evening. It was Las Vegas themed and was excellent. We stayed up late tonight and went to the adult rated QUEST. This was entertainment at its weirdest. It consisted of teams of people locating items that were requested by the Cruise Director. These items ranged from a ladies empty handbag to three bras. During the quest we had men skipping around with lipstick on, women showing their thongs, women showing their tattoos, women removing their bras, men removing their trousers and wearing them backwards and the most disturbing site of the night; a conga line of men wearing lipstick, bras and women's shoes. It was, however, all done in the best possible taste. Friday (At sea) We had a hot breakfast in the Windjammer followed by a relaxing day. We went to an art auction with free champagne in the afternoon. The art was spectacular and a Picasso lino cut was auctioned off at $68000. There was even a purchaser looking at a Rembrandt. All of this on a cruise ship? We won the raffle and won a piece of art which will be posted out to us. Evening meal that day was again in Johnny Rockets. We had asked them all week when were they going to do their half hourly dance routine and we had excuses all week. However, tonight was different as they dragged my wife up and made her join in the dance routine and hand jive session. This was no mean feat as my wife doesn't even dress up for Halloween. We went to the onboard show which was the farewell show. It was a magician/juggler whose wife, with her dead pan expression, was the funniest part of the act. The cast and crew then came onstage to say farewell. We went back to the cabin and packed in order to have our case outside the cabin by 23:00 so that it could be collected by crew. Issued tips to cabin attendant and Johnny Rockets but to nobody else as we hadn't used their service. Tipped Johnny Rockets staff extra as we'd eaten there mostly. We went to bed with a heavy heart as we leaving the ship next day. Saturday (Disembarkation) We went for breakfast and had a good hot breakfast. Went on deck for some last minute pictures and then headed off to our waiting area. We were called to disembark and headed off the ship. Collected our case and went to wait for our transport. The taxi company had provided another Audi A6 and this provided both space and comfort. The cruise went well and my wife enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere of the ship. The cruise was not the cruise we had booked but you cannot control the weather and the Captain had made a difficult situation enjoyable. The crew liked the idea of Palma as they could stock up on goodies for their cabin cheaper than France. The ship was spotless and the crew were constantly cleaning. The cabin was roomy, even for someone my size, but the bathroom was tight and the shower was coffin like. The cabin attendant, Maria, was efficient and friendly without being obtrusive and nothing was too much bother. Her towel folding skills were great and we would come back at night to a bulldog, rabbit, bat or monkey. The latter two suspended from the ceiling. The food was plentiful and the choice throughout the ship was good. However, the Windjammer did let the side down by serving food that at best was tepid and at worst cold. Drinks were expensive but as I only drink soft drinks I bought a soda package which was $34 for the 5 nights. A glass of wine was $8.61 as it included not only the 15% surcharge for drinks but also Spanish VAT. The entertainment onboard was excellent but if you were listening to music on the Promenade deck you could also hear music from the lobby bar on deck 4 and the promenade cafe on deck 5. The main problem I had was with some of my fellow passengers. A certain race of passengers did not know the word queue. They were loud and annoying and seemed to think that they were born to smoke. There were certain areas of the ship that I couldn't go due to the thick smoke. Having been in the navy I always thought that smoking indoors on a ship was a hazard and this is why anyone smoking in the navy is placed on the fantail. They would not let you out of the lifts before they crammed in and on a couple of occasions I have seen people leave the lift rather than have the lift overcrowded. I personally had the small of my back pushed and gouged on a couple of occasions as they tried to push me out of the way and as I have a spinal problem it was painful to say the least. I did notice that as the cruise continued a proportion of people did step aside when they saw this 6'7" ex rugby player coming. A hint that may be useful if you are disabled: If your disability is not visible, i.e. you don't have crutches or a wheelchair, then take your blue disabled badge with you as proof of disability. At Malaga airport, on asking for time to board, I was told by the Easyjet Rep that if I wanted time to board I would need to purchase Speedy Boarding. This is contrary to Easyjet Glasgow and the terms and conditions. So in conclusion, you may be asking if we would go another cruise? The answer is a resounding yes. We are already looking at cruises for the early part of 2011 and especially on Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
we embarked the adventure of the seas at approx 10.30 am on 13th november. i found the process very efficient and fast as we had already printed our sea pass.within 10 mins we aboard and exploring this beautiful ship.it is very beautiful ... Read More
we embarked the adventure of the seas at approx 10.30 am on 13th november. i found the process very efficient and fast as we had already printed our sea pass.within 10 mins we aboard and exploring this beautiful ship.it is very beautiful and well looked after.the cabin was a standard inside but was more than adequate with a large bed,very comfortable, and small sitting area. the storage was more than adequate and well thought out.it was well cared for by our efficient and helpful attendant meryleena,thank you. i queued for approx 15 mins to have our dining time and restaurant altered, we travelled with another 2 couples. this was done with great efficiency by a very helpful australian girl. the main dining room was lovely and our waiters daniel and ephraim were helpful and entertaining during the trip.the food was good and well presented. we had room service for breakfast the two days in port as the island restaurant could be jam packed at times with difficulty in getting a table. romm service breakfast was lovely. the food in the island restaurant was lovely with lots o choice ,especially the desserts as my expanded waistline will testify. we enjoyed the schooner bar in the evening but get there early as seats are limited,the ice show was great and i enjoyed the casino. the only critisism was the price of drinks with the house wine at six dollars a glass plus tax and gratuities but with what i paid for the cruise i was very happy. this was my first cruise with rci but i hope not the last Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
For my first cruise, a bunch of American spouses living in southern Spain took a girl's only trip. There were 19 of us. I suppose there were other Americans on board, but we didn't see/hear them. There were approx 75% Spanish and ... Read More
For my first cruise, a bunch of American spouses living in southern Spain took a girl's only trip. There were 19 of us. I suppose there were other Americans on board, but we didn't see/hear them. There were approx 75% Spanish and the rest other Europeans. The crew was very friendly and I was amazed at how attentive our room steward was. I wish there was coffee/tea in the rooms, but none was available. Possibly in suites, but not in balcony rooms. The room safe quit working after 2 days and wouldn't lock closed. We had a problem with the on board cleaners, which took 2 days to get clothes back. My roommate really went to bat about not being charged and eventually they agreed. She wore the same pants for 4 days because of that snafu. The food was great in the Windjammer! Our big party had a certain table each night and the waitstaff were awesome. Only con was being on the ground floor and getting some water spilled on me during one of the events where the cook crew comes out and people stand at the balconies to watch. Had me wary the rest of the time we sat there! The photographers did a pretty good job, but the prices are ridiculously high. We went together to purchase the trip CD for $300 and I am glad I got that out of my system. Take your own pictures and save money. The formals shots were good, but each photo is $20 to buy. The excursions were fun, but not a lot to see in France with the weather colder. Most shops were closed in St Tropez. The entertainment was okay, the one Spanish band was good, but only sang 2-3 songs not in Spanish. Which brings up another issue. Spaniards do not have personal space and the way they crowd into hallways, elevators, rooms, doors, whatever, caused some minor skirmishes with the British. They are also loud, case in point, during the mandatory muster, the Spanish lady immediately to my right was loudly talking on her cellphone while the crew member was giving us a briefing. She ignored our many stares in her direction and continued her loud conversation until she was finished. A matter of different cultural behaviors. With the majority of people on the cruise being Spanish, it got a little crazy at times. Spanish also include their children in everything, so just add that chaos and you can understand how older British were fuming. I live in Spain and my mother was British, so I am familiar with those two cultures! :) Johnny Rockets was an extra $4.50, the Italian place was $20, but wonderful (I heard). Johnny Rockets hamburgers weren't that great, but the dancing waitstaff, soda's, fries, and onion rings were spot-on. Aside from the high price of everything purchasable on board, I thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and can't wait for my Norwegian cruise in Feb! Adios! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
This was our second cruise with RCI, The first being last year on the "INDEPENDENCE" The port authority at Malaga provided no signage or traffic stewards to direct motorist to ship-side, so the journey within the dock area ... Read More
This was our second cruise with RCI, The first being last year on the "INDEPENDENCE" The port authority at Malaga provided no signage or traffic stewards to direct motorist to ship-side, so the journey within the dock area was a little chaotic, so RCI. signs would have been helpful. We first joined a long queue outside the terminal building, not realising that this line was for passengers who had not checked in online, after 15 minutes we overheard someone mentioning that there was a special bay for online checked in cruisers, but although this shortened our trudge, we still had a long wait getting through security. Signs or stewards would have been helpful! Once through security everything went smoothly and we were in our cabin-whoops sorry!- stateroom withing minutes. Our room was spotlessly clean with Comfortable beds, a small but adequate shower and toilet, tv and background music facility. Our cabin attendant Irod, was excellent. The ships facilities were excellent with theatre, cinema ice rink show and all the usual funtime at sea entertainment. This ship provides well for families with children and the kids and teenagers club no doubt provide a welcome haven for worn out parents leaving the children in a safe supervised environment, the little ones are checked in and out. We dined on the "my time" scheme which was excellent this allowed us to book a specific time in the evening to suit us. The restaurant staff were excellent and our every need was attended to, promptly and efficiently.The menu was super with several choices of main course and included a varied vegetarian alternative Breakfast could be taken buffet style, or by waiter service dependant upon which of the restaurants you chose for morning and lunchtime 24 hour Tea and coffee, cakes and pizza and sandwiches were available- free of charge- on the Promenade Deck. A great choice of evening musical entertainment to suit all tastes, from classics to pop and a great late night "singsong" was enjoyed by all in the "Schooner Bar" but get in before 10pm to get a seat. My only "beef" about the whole ten day cruise is the price of drinks a glass of wine between 6-10 US DOLLARS.There is a 15%service charge on all drinks plus 8% Spanish tax, whilst in Spanish waters, so be sure to choose carefully when and where to buy your duty free when it is available. Fellow passengers included plenty of friendly British and Irish folk, some very rude Spanish folk and a miscellany of about 350 of colourful Gay men dressed in all sorts of "gear" including dresses and mini skirts "little Britain" would have had a ball. But as we are broad and tolerant society we must accept this or stay away I would certainly cruise again with RCI. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
Hi folks,I had high expectations of going on this cruise ship and i wasn't dissapointed!I had booked it over a year previously and i plenty of time for research and to avoid the pitfalls that all first-time cruiser's dread!like a ... Read More
Hi folks,I had high expectations of going on this cruise ship and i wasn't dissapointed!I had booked it over a year previously and i plenty of time for research and to avoid the pitfalls that all first-time cruiser's dread!like a huge on board spend bill and getting ripped off !haha but no such event occured so breath in and relax!It's all good in the world of R.C.C.I!We flew Air Lingus from Gatwick,U.K(a change from B.A,heathrow we felt was warranted by the strikes,etc)a nice flight,met a nice chap at the airport bus depot who had cruised before and whom we met on board afterwards,one face we felt familiar with after 2o mins.on the plane some lovely welch girls who were cruise addicts and all going on Adventure so we were getting excited.the sun shone and we had arrived at Malaga,Spain.A quick ten minute or so coach trip later and we were in Malaga's Cruise terminal where Adventure greeted us towering above us,a white bemoth of windows and Lifeboat's.It really needs to be seen to be believed.In the reception area were a few curiously dressed 'party girls'(Blokes!)who turned out to be entertainer's and set the theme for the many Spanish guests who were obviously of a differnt persuasion,shall we say,from my wife and I.No problem,we just joined the throng,had our pictures taken for the i.d cards and on we went,aboard at last.we went straight up to our cabin,a small but perfectly formed mini-masterpiece of design,bed,t.v couch and shower etc,no window but i had taken the truoble of a few on-line spice-up's in the form of the 'bon voyage!' banner,balloon,door poster and a champagne-on ice chocolate strawbs,well worth the money and a nice touch to jazz it up a little.the room service was fantastic,very prompt,nice food,presented perfectly and all free!(before midnight-05.00).We had just got our bearing's when it was time for the 'Muster station's call' which meant a shuffle for all to the lifeboat station assigned to our room,sorry cabin!this excercise was mainly treated by a joke by the guests so we went along ,the only two wearing our life jackets!D'oh!thank the good Lord that we didn't have to use them!We had opted to pay our on-board spends in cash(dollars)rather than by card a facility our travel-agents were suprized we were able to do.we felt this was better than running up a tab we might not be able to pay for!In the end i have to say the prices were a little inflated but we spent #530 dollars all told.We were not big drinker's and that included 2 coach trips we booked from our room on the T.V!Cruising doesn't have to break the bank if your carefull.We had booked my-time dining and being naive i had booked a variety of times for our 'slot'.it was obvious that these were all in the wrong time either too early or late to get a show,or film etc.We found the nice young ladies at the Dinner booking booth very helpfull to change our times with no fuss.The first few days were Smart Casual then the feared 'formal night'was on us.In the end it was a great experience to be in our best and the whole crew and guest's gleaming from Bow to Stern.Our table was a 2-person all week as my wife felt a little uncomfortable sharing a table with peopleshe didn't know!this is meant to to be the point but i wasn't going to make a thing of it,after getting her this far from home!The food and choice on adventure was fantastic!the waiter's and waitresses do a fantastic job,bearing in mind the numbers involved.ten/ten here for the service.you will be impressed with the freindly staff who no doubt are seeking that tip but who treated us with dignity and respect at all time's.We met a young chap from Brazil in the dog and duck pub onboard,charming.The cocktail waiter from Jamaica,Dean equally charming.These guys are having a blast,working the ships and travelling they will make your trip special by making you feel special,thanks R.C.C.I for introducing us to some nice people from all around the world,that what makes a cruise so personal!The business side of things on the promenade was omni-present,the sales promotion's etc but on the whole the atmosphere is nice and relaxed.We caught the ice-show one evening,apart froma couple of slips(this was on a ship!)the show was amazingThe juggler and hoop show we had seen in the Lyric theatre earlier was first class!I enjoyed the Spanish lessons that repeated all the announcement's and we met all nationalities on-board,those gay Spanish chap's seem to congregate in the whirl-pools and i even braved that for a posed Motorcycle news reader meets Spanish men at sea stunt,much to wife's amusement.the guys were nice really,just looked a little different!Weather on this trip wasn't great,mostly overcast and few sunny skies but we hardly noticed as we zoomed up and down in the greast glass lifts,rushing here ,going there just loving the ship and the fantastic experiences on offer.the wind jammer cafe was a nice big motorway service station of free food!whilst cakes and snack's could all be found on deck 5,whre tea and coffee mixed with soft drink's were free to enjoy at will.one day we were still in our room when my wife strangely began to slide down the bed!this turned out to be a technical problem with one of the ship's stabalizer's!the ship had leaned right over with no warning!a quick look out of the cabin allayed my initial fear that we were going to become some horrible 'Titanic' like nightmare,disconcerting you must agree.No future problems here so that's a relief.Tenerife and maderia came and went in a blur of trips and experience's i will add later and before we knew it it was the last night on board-party night where all the crew sang,danced and waved us off to our home shore's making us all a little sad that it was over but giving us hope for new beginning's now that our Cruise virgin's tag has gone,REGARDS TO ALL HAPPY Cruising,Roger T Bikerboy32 Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2010
I planned a cruise with my partner and could not go for any longer than five nights so were left with few options. After much deliberation we decided to book on a five night cruise on the Adventure of the Seas from Malaga. The ... Read More
I planned a cruise with my partner and could not go for any longer than five nights so were left with few options. After much deliberation we decided to book on a five night cruise on the Adventure of the Seas from Malaga. The cruise did not get off to a great start. We arrived at the port and had to queue for miles to eventually get booked in. As soon as we were handed our sea passes, I pointed out to the representative that it had the wrong dining option. We had asked for the later dining and had been put on the first sitting. He said there was nothing he could do about this and to speak to the restaurant manager who would sort it out for me. This was to be the beginning of a long saga. When I went to the restaurant manager which incidently meant waiting for at least half an hour I was told the only option was to put us on My Time Dining. He then immediately got me to sign a piece of paper which was clearly not for my benefit but to ensure the tips were added on to my account. To cut a long story short I had to visit customer service and argue my point for an hour. Eventually after a lot of effort on my part they did take the tips off. This was not the only problem. Our cabin, okay we booked an inside cabin, was dirty and tiny! The wall covering was ripped and the curtains around the bed dirty and ripped. In fact, the whole ship was old and tired and is in serious need of updating. I can't honestly believe anyone has anything good to say about this horrible ship. I had recently been on the Azura which, of course, is a new ship but there was frankly no comparison. The Azura was clean, great food and reasonable priced. Royal Caribbean seem intent on ripping you off at every possible opportunity. They also market one of their bar areas as the aquarium bar. This is surrounded by a large aquarium but the only problem is there are no fish! It looks ridiculous and when I asked the waitress why it was empty she informed me that all the fish had died! If this is the case, surely you need to update this area so it doens't look so ridiculous. Let's face it there are so few nice areas on Adventure of the Seas a few fish would have been nice to see! Overall verdict of Adventure of the Seas is NEVER AGAIN! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
Sailed from Malaga, Spain Thankfully we only had 5 days. Check in/out was good and fast. Entertainment very poor, went to see Comedian in Theatre, only spoke Spanish. Cabin very good and comfortable. Food diabolical in main ... Read More
Sailed from Malaga, Spain Thankfully we only had 5 days. Check in/out was good and fast. Entertainment very poor, went to see Comedian in Theatre, only spoke Spanish. Cabin very good and comfortable. Food diabolical in main restaurant choice limited, poor service, ordered a Medium/rare Steak on last evening, so tough I could have repaired my shoes with it , complained to waiter who replied "That's how they come!" and implied I should not have ordered Steak. 50% of passengers, Spanish pensioners, who all refused to use Disinfectant gel in restaurants, they smoked in non smoking areas, when an officer was asked, I was told that they turn a blind eye to it, as they are buying drinks. None turned up for dinner on last evening, so they did not give tips. Drink prices are exorbitant. A 750ml can of Fosters worked out at £6.20 which included 15% service charge and 20% Spanish VAT. Spent only £40 on board as I refused to be ripped off, 5 days tee total. Best food was cabin service which was good quality, well served and hot. Two ports visited Toulon and Majorca should have been Corsica, some excuse "Too windy" Bus transfer to Toulon £12 each return,didn't bother Majorca transfers to city £6 each, enjoyed a reasonable priced litre of beer. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
My husband was the lucky winner of this cruise after winning a poker tournamanet earlier this year when on the Independance of the Seas!! We had to pay for our flights to Malaga, and for taxes and gratuities....and of course we upgraded so ... Read More
My husband was the lucky winner of this cruise after winning a poker tournamanet earlier this year when on the Independance of the Seas!! We had to pay for our flights to Malaga, and for taxes and gratuities....and of course we upgraded so it started to be not as "free" as we first imagined!!! Anyway we embarked on 3/11/10......without any problems,,,,the staff as friendly as always. To be honest we were very impressed with the Adventure of The Sea and how like the Independance she was....just a little tired and worn! As ever the food was superb both in the main dining and the Windjammer. We were on a table for eight and were seated with others who had "won" places in the poker final! We were blessed with really good company and this was a great bonus to the holiday. The atmosphere onboard this ship was outstanding. This was visible in the Schooner Bar with the superb pianist who had everyone singing!!!! We joined in a few quizzes, and went to a couple of shows...always a great time. There were 28 finalists in the poker tournamanet and Pete managed 7th place aqnd a very respectable $500!!!! the casino was very kind to us- especially the roulette! Overall this was a perfect break HOWEVER...... I do feel that we should mention smoking onboard......!!! This ship stinks of smoke. There are far too many areas where people are allowed to smoke without restrictions. We are not anti-smoking and very much agree with designated smoking areas. But for us everywhere we went people were smoking ...and this should not be allowed!!! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
This was our third transatlantic cruise, the first two having been with Celebrity on their Millennium and Century. Using that experience as a standard, this cruise did not quite measure up. It could be that RC is doing some product ... Read More
This was our third transatlantic cruise, the first two having been with Celebrity on their Millennium and Century. Using that experience as a standard, this cruise did not quite measure up. It could be that RC is doing some product differentiation, allowing its Royal Caribbean brand to slide, while promoting its Celebrity brand as their 'premium' cruise line. Or, it could be that the very large newer ships in the RC line are posing new service/management issues. Then again, maybe it's both. This cruise left from Barcelona. For us, this was deja vu because we've sailed from Barcelona on two previous occasions. Embarkation in Barcelona has always been a model of efficiency and superior service. This embarkation was no exception. Incidentally, if you have an opportunity to spend time in Barcelona, do so. It's a wonderful city; one of Europe's very best, in our experience. From Barcelona, the Adventure of the Seas visited several Mediterranean ports (Toulon, Ajaccio, Mallorca, Cartagena) and two Canary Island ports, before setting out across the Atlantic to San Juan... 14 days in all. The selection of ports was very good, but the timing of some of the visits left room for improvement. For example, we visited Toulon on a Monday. Does RC not know that the French normally work Saturdays and take Mondays off? Disappointingly, this interesting port city was closed! This experience was replayed in Cartagena. Our favorite port was Ajaccio in Corsica, and we plan to return there for a land holiday. Onboard, the Adventure of the Seas is a marvel -- lots of room, lots of glitz, and an excellent smooth performer in rough seas. The maintenance on this ship is superb. Our stateroom was on deck 6, roughly amid-ship, with a balcony. It was excellent; and the service from the stateroom attendant was flawless. Some guests were complaining that their rooms were being serviced annoyingly late in the day. Later, we were to learn that RC had a lot of 'new recruits' among the crew on this voyage, and they were running daytime training sessions for the rookies... who were expected to catch up after class, I guess. Anyway, the problem was affecting some staterooms, and quite a few of the bars. Until the evening hours, fully half the bars were not open, and quite a few of the bar-tenders had difficulty mixing some of the drinks that were listed in the bar menus. The dining room was mediocre in many respects. On the first day aboard, we arrived at our reserved table for 6 to learn that it had been assigned to 8 guests. Anyway, the problem was addressed for the second evening, and all affected parties seemed satisfied. But, how can this kind of rookie mistake happen? Let's move on to the food. The quality of the entrees was inconsistent -- some evenings it was superb; some evenings it was difficult to choose an acceptable entree from the day's menu. Inconsistency! But the deserts were consistently bad. Indeed, we noted that the desert offerings at the buffet were much better than those being offered in the dining room. Incidentally, our table service was excellent; probably the best we've ever experienced. But we did note that some of the guests at nearby tables were not so fortunate. We used the buffet for breakfasts and lunches. The quality and choice of food was very good cruise fare. The only negative was the service, in terms of speed of clearing tables, etc. We did not frequent any of the extra-charge restaurants. And, speaking of costs, the cost of alcoholic beverages has been creeping up at RC. The cheapest bottle of wine that I could find was $27 + an automatic 15% gratuity. This is for a bottle of wine that I could have purchased for the equivalent of $6 in Barcelona. The activities aboard were typical of any very large cruise ship. We can't imagine anyone being bored. Still, this area of service was not without its problems. The gymnasium is probably too small for 3100 passengers, with much of the more popular exercise machines (treadmills, for example) being impossibly over-demanded. Also, the quality of the entertainment aboard was a huge disappointment. Except for an excellent Ice Show and one entertainer (an Elton John impersonator) the entertainment was dreadful, dreadful, dreadful. Generally, we enjoyed the cruise very much, and I have chosen to focus on the areas needing improvement. Would I repeat this cruise? Probably not; but that may be attributable to the very bad disembarkation that we experienced on arrival in San Juan (home port for the Adventure of the Seas). The ship was scheduled to clear port at about 7:30 AM and we booked a San Juan tour, since our flight only left at 4:00 PM. However, the ship did not clear until after 9:00 AM, and then the problems began in earnest. Passengers were off-loaded into a large metal building where, in 80 F heat, and without water or bathroom facilities, we stood in-line for three hours to clear US customs. During this experience, NO Royal Caribbean crew were in evidence. I can't believe that this is normal procedure in the ship's American home port! Welcome to the USA. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
When we arrived at Malaga airport, we had disabled assistance from the plane to the couch for our transfer to the port. When we got to the coach it was two thirds full and we thought we had held it up as all of the passengers seemed a bit ... Read More
When we arrived at Malaga airport, we had disabled assistance from the plane to the couch for our transfer to the port. When we got to the coach it was two thirds full and we thought we had held it up as all of the passengers seemed a bit cranky... an hour later, still on the coach and waiting to fill 4 seats we realised why they were cranky as they had been on the coach for 2 hours now and the staff just kept saying "we need to wait for more passengers and fill the bus before we go to the port"... this was our first complaint as the company appeared very inefficient! So on we went to the ship, embarkation was good... no problems, fairly straight forward. Once onboard we made our way straight to our cabin to see if it was ready, which it was. First impression was great, good size, double balcony... large enough room, nice bathroom and clean beds... On closer inspection of our room we found that the balcony was never cleaned, the furniture was marked by dirty shoes and pen marks, and the toilet seat had been scrubbed so hard the white lacquer had come off!! We had left Glasgow at 4.30am and it was now 1pm, so neadless to say we were starving... only eatery open was the windjammer buffet, which was packed with a queue of about 200 people squeezing into the entrance... so we decided to retreat to our room and order room service. unfortunately room service was not available until after 5.30pm when we would be leaving port, so that was another dead end. we had a look in our fridge/cooler to have some nibbles as we were absolutely starving!!... and found that everything edible in our fridge was out of date by months! shocked, we told our suite attendant who said it wasnt her job to fix it, but she would tell her superior. okay we thought... but by day 3 our fridge was still stocked with expired food stuffs... so we phoned reception who had our fridge emptied but never re-stocked... such a simple task but we fought a losing battle to have it done. staff all appeared to be bored and unhappy and wouldnt say hello to you if you walked past them on the ship. the BEST part of our cruise was going for dinner in the evening... our waiters Daniel and Ephriam were exceptional! also bar man Neville was a pleasure... they remembered everything you said to them, what we ordered form the bar, if we took pepper and if we drank coffee... little things like this made it a better holiday. however, i dont think i would go on another royal caribbean cruise as they just lacked a certain spark... a spark that i find to be present on NCL cruise's 100% of the time. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
Our family of 4 adults went on a Christmas Cruise and just loved it!! My husband and I had cruised once before on the same ship and wanted to give our children a taste of cruising for Christmas. (they are 26 and 28 years old). Flew in from ... Read More
Our family of 4 adults went on a Christmas Cruise and just loved it!! My husband and I had cruised once before on the same ship and wanted to give our children a taste of cruising for Christmas. (they are 26 and 28 years old). Flew in from NC 2 days earlier to San Juan. We wore our Griswold Tshirts (not our real last names) and Santa hats on the plane! Stayed at the Sheraton in Old San Juan for 2 nights - highly recommend this hotel. We walked around Old San Juan, great food, great shopping. Took a taxi to the Pan American Pier Sunday morning and boarded Adventure of the Seas by 12 noon, only waited in line about 20 minutes. Embarkation was quick and efficient. Note: We usually do not book all our excursions from RCCL. We check out the taxi/shuttle drivers in the ports and request tours no longer than 3 hours to see the different islands. Works out well for about $15.00 per person. Day 1: Dec. 19 Embarkation with the Griswold Christmas Tshirts Immediately went to the Spa to book massages (hot stones, fantastic!) for my daughter and myself. Checked out our table in the MDR - originally requested a table for 8 but was thrilled with a table just for the 4 of us. We love the late seating for dinner.The first table was on Deck 3 in the kitchen corner area and we asked for a move to another location. Ended up on Deck 5 Mozart - wonderful! I am a gluten, shellfish, kiwi, banana allergic person and the head waiter Nicholas was excellent in making sure all my food was prepared properly. Loved Felix our head waiter and Wilmar the assistant waiter. Best trio of Head Waiter, Assistant Waiter and Maitre D ever! Spent the afternoon exploring the ship, lazing by the pool and eating of course. The Muster drill was even fun. Love all the different people onboard. Ship left port at 8:30pm. Day 2: Dec. 20 St. Thomas. Spent the day shopping in port - recommend the AH Riise Mall. Back on the ship in the afternoon. Next time we will take a tour of the island. Day 3: Dec. 21 St. Maarten. Went to Orient Bay by taxi. Traffic jam due to an accident on the island and it took a long time to get to the beach. Was disappointed with Orient Bay - we are used to North Myrtle Beaches which are great. Beach was crowded (lots of seaweed, kind of dirty) and it costs $ to get a beach chair, umbrella, and use the restroom. My husband, son and daughter went jet skiing - waves were choppy. My daughter ended up falling off the jet ski and injured her back. When we arrived back to the ship she went to the medical facility, no fractures thankfully but required an anti-inflammatory injection. Nurse and doctor very good. Needed to cancel our snorkeling excursion for the next day in St. Kitts due to her injury - refund given with a note from the on board medic. Day 4: Dec. 22 St. Kitts. Took a tour around the island and to the Batik factory - just lovely and worth seeing. Prices very reasonable. Had photos taken with monkeys at the port shopping location - lots of fun and the monkeys sit on your head and shoulders. Day 5: Dec. 23 Grenada. Love Grenada! Rained in am. Took the RCCL Spice and Waterfalls Tour - highly recommend this tour. Bought a spice necklace, very unique to Grenada, and some under the counter rum.....potent! Yum. Beautiful scenery and would love to return to this island someday. Day 6: Dec. 24 Christmas Eve St. Lucia. Rained all day. My husband and son had scheduled a 7 hr scuba excursion with RCCL but it was canceled due to choppy waters. They were bummed out and went snorkeling instead. Bad decision - saw one puny fish, no sun and visibility was about 3 feet at maximum. Meanwhile my daughter and I went out in the pouring rain and did some shopping in port. We bought maracas and played with the Caribbean band in the middle of the shopping area. Lots of fun!! Soaking wet!! No sun all day. My daughter and I had booked a 75 minute 'Hot Stone' massage at the spa for 2:00pm - superb! Very relaxing and both of us slept for an hour after in our rooms. Day 7: Dec. 25 MERRY CHRISTMAS! Santa arrived on the ship around 8am. Ho, Ho, Ho! Free rum and eggnog for all the adults. We wore our Griswold Christmas Family Tshirts and Santa Hats all day....lots of fun. We attended all the shows at 7pm, prior to our scheduled dinner at 8:30pm every night. Formal nights were the 2nd day of the cruise and Christmas Eve. Parades, caroling, 70's disco dancing in the street, bingo, trivia contests, art tours and auction, karaoke....you name it, we tried to do everything!! Anna Bass was our Cruise Director and she was fantastic - lots of energy, many activities to choose from. The' Cool Art, Hot Ice' show was great and Quest was the funniest thing I have ever seen. Day 8: Debarkation Left the ship around 9:45am - well planned. Get a porter to help you collect your bags - go through the customs lines faster. Note: Don't forget to bring extension cord and power strip. Hanging plastic shoe organizer for bathroom door - keeps everything off the counter - lots of room for bathroom items, shoes, etc. Supplied hair dryer works well. We were known as the T Shirt Family and we were asked many times if we were the 'REAL' Griswolds...ha! Best Christmas ever!! Looking forward to a December 2011 cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
Pre Cruise: I arrived on Friday into San Juan and took a taxi to the Caribe Hilton. The hotel is beautiful but felt it was very overpriced. The weather was clear and sunny on Friday. Friday night there was a 5.4 earthquake. The service ... Read More
Pre Cruise: I arrived on Friday into San Juan and took a taxi to the Caribe Hilton. The hotel is beautiful but felt it was very overpriced. The weather was clear and sunny on Friday. Friday night there was a 5.4 earthquake. The service in the hotel restaurants was very slow and over priced. Small offering of restaurants on Friday evening and the same on Saturday. Yes I understand it was Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Cruise: We took a cab from the hotel about 12:30 and arrived at the ship. Our travel agent ordered our luggage tags but my sister ordered them online which was easy to do. It seemed a little disorganized but I saw a holder stating - Platinum Members luggage drop off. We all dropped off our luggage at that spot and then got the piece of paper that you had to fill out if you had been sick etc. Why can't they send it prior so you are not trying to find a pen quickly. We went through security which we had no issues. Got in line for the Platinum and checked in pretty quickly and got on board. The weather on Sunday was not that great to lay out so we sat by the bar and then went down to the room to shower and change and wait for our luggage. The luggage came later than when we were on the Serenade in 2006-2009. My sister gave the room steward some money - and voila our bags were there. We went into dinner the first night and was disappointed at how slow the service was. One of the "red" coats maitr'd told us to leave so they can get ready for the next night. Gee that wasn't our fault service was slow. My sister was very nice and went and talked with another maitr'd and the service was better the next night (we had 3 tables of 8). He hovered to make sure everything was ok but never came and said how is everything. I didnt even bother handing in my ticket to him due to that fact. I felt some were just there to do a job and that was that. How boring is that - why not make the best of it - better service = better tips and so much fun for all. It even took awhile for the bar service to catch on that they can make bigger tips since we would order about 17 shots every night. What a miss on their part. We had a great bartender on the Adventure when we went 04-05. Entertainment - I felt the entertainment was bad. No "special" entertainment like we have had in the past. If felt like after dinner there wasn't much in entertainment. Who heard of ice carving at 11 pm??????? We were disappointed in this cruise and the state of the ship. Friends of ours had a balcony room and the wood on the balcony needed touch ups - it had scrapes of it chipping. The "towels" idea needs to be refigured. My sister was charged $20 for a towel that she returned. It was easier to have them in the room. I understand people leaving them on the beach etc and it costs the cruise line money. If there are 2 people in the room - leave 2 towels. If they are not back that night in the room then CHARGE them. Seems alot easier. Stores on board: Disappointed in the apparel choices as always. Why can't they offer pads of paper with the RCCL logo on it. What about dish towels with the logo on it. The weather was fair. One day we had lots of rain in St Kitts. Dominica we did a private tour of the waterfalls. We had 2 vans since there was 23 of us. The tour was great - the walk to the "warmer" waterfalls was very hard and a little scary since it was raining and somewhat slippery. Again the tour guys held our hands and helped us down. Boy I had trouble sitting down the next day. It needs to have strenuous noted in there. Barbados - what can I say! It is one of our favorite islands. St. Croix - first time there and we booked chairs at this hotel. Later it got very crowded when we were leaving. St Thomas was our usual Sapphire Beach and then back to the beach. We have booked next year on the same ship but hope that it is fixed up! We were very disappointed in the islands when we booked on the ship. We even looked at the Celebrity ships but didn't like the islands. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
About us - Our group consisted of two couples and two friends, based in Florida, Puerto Rico and Japan. DW and I had a deck eight/near aft/port side balcony cabin as did the other couple. The two friends had an interior cabin nearby. ... Read More
About us - Our group consisted of two couples and two friends, based in Florida, Puerto Rico and Japan. DW and I had a deck eight/near aft/port side balcony cabin as did the other couple. The two friends had an interior cabin nearby. Pre-Cruise Barcelona, 11/24-28/2010 Five out of six in our group met at JFK on the evening of November 24 for our American Airlines flight to Barcelona. The other one was already on his way from Japan. The flight was overbooked but otherwise uneventful. Upon arrival at BCN we were met by our friend from Japan who had arrived earlier, and by our driver from carsdeluxe.es. We had booked a mini-van with this company and they provided outstanding service at a reasonable price. The driver graciously waited while we got some cash and provided commentary en route to the hotel. We stayed at the Hotel Europark on Aragó street. This is a few blocks from Passeig de Gracia, a comfortable distance away from Las Ramblas but still only a 20-minute walk away. This lovely hotel was even closer to the magnificent Sagrada Familia Cathedral. We loved this hotel. It is new, modern, efficient, with competent staff and a highlighted by a great full breakfast. Free Wi-fi, common use PCs, a gym, bar and pool round up the nice facilities. The rooms are comfortable, private and secure. The weather was cold, ranging between the low 40's to the low 50's with clear skies. From our great base at Europark we eagerly explored Barcelona by foot, although on our last night we did both the red and blue hop on/hop off routes to cover what we couldn't by foot. We mostly skipped lunches and dinners were initially had at a tapas place called Txapelas on Passeig de Gracia (good enough). Then we tried the nearby La Rita restaurant which we were looking forward to because of the good reviews, but in the end it sucked. On our last night we were recommended the Citrus restaurant on de Gracia and that was satisfactory. Barcelona's attractions are well covered here and elsewhere so I won't be repetitive only to say that we immensely enjoyed the city and no, we did not have any security issues. Embarkation Day, 11/28/2010 We checked out at 11:00 am and our carsdeluxe.es van arrived shortly thereafter as scheduled. We had another wonderful driver who had to use magic to load all that luggage and six passengers on that mini-van. We were among the first few to arrive at the pier. There were plenty of porters already available. The check-in and boarding was efficient and we were having lunch at the Windjammer by noon. A brief side note here: we immediately noticed how the Windjammer's menu was adjusted to accommodate the Spanish passengers who were the bulk of the guests during the prior months. They obviously had a lot of left over Spanish ingredients and included stuff like Paella and Callos during our first week. We happily indulged and found the ship's paella to be better than any other found on shore, at any of our stops. Kudos to the Windjammer chef. Our beautiful ship The Great Adventure of the Seas is now over nine years old. I was on her last year and the difference in wear was noticeable. The crew, however, was hard at work bringing her back to shape. For example, the wooden railings in our balconies where replaced with new ones during our first week. Carpets were being replaced here and there. Painting was ongoing throughout the ship. None of these maintenance activities were disrupting. The ship suffered from no failures, mechanical or otherwise. Well, an aft port side elevator was stuck with seven people in it but that was promptly resolved. The ship sailed fast and steady in heavy seas and strong gales and we always felt safe. Captain Holmes and his crew did a great job under sometimes difficult conditions. Our Cruise Director was Anthony Richards, from Canada. A young guy who we found to be a great person and who worked hard to keep us entertained, especially during all those sea days. He got personally involved in untangling certain shore excursion snafus we encountered later. His staff was excellent as well. The staterooms became available at 1:00 PM. We could not have asked for a more wonderful stateroom attendant than our great Natalia, from Costa Rica. Very friendly and very efficient. You asked and she delivered, in spades. Our luggage was delivered later in the afternoon. The passenger mix was diverse. Mostly North Americans with a healthy dose of Puerto Ricans, then Brits and Germans and small numbers of other nationalities. I found that everyone got along just fine and the Cruise Director and the International Ambassadors and even some entertainers made sure everyone understood what was going on at ll times, in whatever language. Anthony's Spanish is pretty good. For sail away, since it was so cold outside, we skipped the pool party and spent it warm and comfy in the interior bars. First night on board We had My Time Dining. The lovely My Time Dining Coordinator was Juliana, from Romania. At the beginning, she was on the defensive, having to deal with a crush of new passengers biding for the preferable times. After a somewhat chaotic first night, and once she got to know the pax, everything ran smoothly. We got most of the times we requested but soon we settled on a time more aligned with the normal late sitting anyway. I guess they just had too many people on My Time. But, as we say in the Caribbean, no problem. We were fortunate to land a great waitress, Anca, who would be our main host for the duration of the cruise. I cannot say enough about Anca (Romania). We were looking forward to spending each evening with her. She's beautiful, smart, quick, very hospitable, efficient...we wanted to adopt her, as did the other tables she waited on. She was ably assisted by her compatriot Dragos the first week and then by Christian on the second week. Both were charming, helpful and an asset to the team. Anca's husband, also named Drago (or similar) was nearby and assisted when necessary. He proved to be a very sharp guy and I am happy that he's Anca's other half. This couple is going places. The dining room staff was rounded up by our new best friend, the bar waiter Mr. Bobb (Grenadines), who handled his job with joy and pleasure. We had a running joke that for a cruise this long, we were doomed to run out of food at some point so we had to take in as much as we could early on and stock up on calories. Anca sure helped us with that. Dining was always a pleasure even if they never got my steaks right. I kept insisting on "medium well" and it always came back well done+. My table mates usually ordered two notches down on doneness, and that usually worked out. All in all the MDR experience was satisfactory. I am amazed that they were able to keep the salads and fruits "fresh" throughout our cruise. Next: day two - Toulon (Provence), France Oh, France. I was so looking forward to this visit. I even took some French lessons. I was warned that I should head inland to get to know her better, but my group couldn't agree on a tour. The thing is, to get to the interior, it is a long way off the docks and up and beyond the cliffs. So, we settled on taking the little train around town. I am sure that during the summer this place is hopping, but today it was sleepy if not depressing. Okay, it was cold out and everything, but you would think that with a lousy economy this town would be more welcoming to 3,000+ tourists. It is what it is, I guess, so we did the best we could. At the end I told the girls in our group that I wanted to see the French Navy museum so they went off looking for stores while I soaked in the history of the once mighty fleet. The museum was smallish compared to the American military museums, but interesting nonetheless. At least I got to use some of my very limited Francais and was able to ask questions like where's the toilet and what not. I joined up with the girls and we strolled along the promenade back to the ship. Did I mentioned it was freakin' cold and we couldn't wait to get back on board? As a side, the other couple in our group broke away at one point and scored a decent meal at a Moroccan joint. I'm not going to second guess RCI in picking this port for a call except that it must be better in the summer. Having said that, I am not giving up on France because of this port. On with life and day three. Day Three - Ajaccio, Corsica The ship docks right in town so Ajaccio was easy to do. Although not France-France, as some would say, this port made up for the last one. As some may know this is the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte. Like most places we've been to so far, many shops and museums close for a good part of the afternoon so we had to rush a little bit to the Bonaparte home to see it before it shut down. That was a neat tour. We then strolled along the main avenues, had some local coffee at a cute cafe, and I went back to the ship for lunch while the ladies shopped. Today was an overcast and cold day and we set sail for Palma de Mallorca before dark. We had an ominous sea ahead of us and our first bumpy night. Of course, never as bumpy as the Brilliance's. Day Four - Palma de Mallorca Beliiiiindaaaa! Beliiiiindaaaaa! For this beautiful port we had bought the ship's bus shuttle into town. That started out wrong. Belinda was the ground bus dispatcher and I don't know if it was her fault but the loading of the buses was a complete mess. Everyone was calling out for her for guidance and she was running all over the place like a second lieutenant under fire. Thankfully, Anthony Richards, the CD, came down and helped sort out the mess. The problem was that they were selling shuttle tickets as people boarded, holding up the people who already had tickets. In hindsight, I would just have taken the public bus into town, the hop on/hop off, or if I felt like walking the three or four miles into town, I would do that too. The shuttle drops you off across the magnificent cathedral. We first toured the adjacent Royal Palace before it closed. This is an active royal family residence with military guards and everything. Beautiful home. Next was the cathedral and that was worth the port call all by itself. The old town is easy to walk around and had many neat stores, cafes, homes, nooks and crannies. This became our favorite port of the cruise. The shuttle buses were waiting for our return later in the afternoon for the painless ride back to the ship. Day Five - Cartagena The ship also docked right in town at this port. We initially strolled along the promenade and visited the Naval Archeology Museum. After that we were at a loss on what to do. We wanted to walk around the town but the massive wall between the promenade and the city kind of discouraged it. Luckily we climbed the stairs and made a right as we topped the wall. I say lucky because by going that way, we were able to catch a panoramic elevator to the high end of the city, from which we were able to walk down hill most of the time. If you start exploring the city from the other end then you would be doing it uphill. First we saw the hilltop castle with great views of the city. From there we "discovered", or rather, located, the famed Roman Theater ruins down below. It was an easy, lovely walk down and around the hill, ending up at City Hall. Across from that was the Roman Theater Museum and the access to the theater itself. It is well worth the nominal admission fee. After visiting the ruins we still had time for some shopping and even a paella lunch. It was a great day all in all. Night five - Straights of Gibraltar During the evening it was announced that we would be crossing the straights from 4:00 to 5:00 AM the next morning. Of course it would be dark, but those so inclined could see the shore lights of Africa and Europe and maybe the outline of the rock at that time. My buddy and I agreed to meet above the peek-a-boo bridge at four. He, bless his heart, forgot to turn his clock back so was up and about since 3:00 AM. I was awaken by bright lights near the ship. I couldn't believe the ship traffic around us - at night and in howling winds. That was a little scary. I bundled up and headed for deck 12. Boy what a blast of cold air. I forced my way to the front of the gym and lasted there like a minute. I was the only idiot exposed like that. As I walked back to shelter I saw a bunch of people huddled inside the Viking Crown, probably laughing at me. All I could see was lights on either side of the ship. No Rock of Gibraltar (we were past it at that point). Better sense prevailed so I headed to the Viking Crown myself, where I met my buddy. We went outside just off the 19th Hole bar and that semi-sheltered area was a lot better than the peek-a-boo bridge area. In the picture that my buddy took of me I look like I'm frozen dead. We had enough excitement and headed down to the Promenade Cafe for some coffee and then back to bed. I related the little adventure to my wife who congratulated me and remarked that if I had gotten her out of bed she would have tossed me overboard. Day six - Day at Sea Sun! But still cold out. I didn't care. Precisely at noon I went up to deck 11, stripped down to my board shorts, ordered a margarita and laid down on the wooden deck by the main pool. The people around me thought I was nuts. I still didn't care. I was getting tired of the inside of the ship. The CD staff was trying to rally up the very thin pool crowd (all bundled up except for one nut), and did the line dancing class and finished with the Men's Sexy Legs Contest. By then I already had three margaritas so I accepted my wife's challenge and volunteered for that. I didn't win anything (which is a good thing considering the award categories) but it was a riot of fun. It had only been twelve hours since I had made a fool of myself in front of a crowd. Unfortunately, our Indian summer was very short lived as it was getting windy, cold and dark real fast. But at least many of us got some fresh air. By this time, those who preferred to remain inside all of the time were developing the soon to be widespread "Adventure Cough". Day seven - Las Palmas, Gran Canaria We arrived around 1:00 PM on day seven at this port. By now the temperatures were finally beginning to become consistently milder. We had booked an island tour which included a visit to Pico Bandana with a view of the volcano caldera, and up and down the interior to the town of Teror and then back to Las Palmas with plenty to spare for shopping. The ship's tour cost $35.00 and was well worth it. The island has some interesting history and interesting sights. Once again, the ladies stayed on shore for shopping while I headed back to the ship after the tour. I got off again and did walk around the port area a bit after a snack on board and snapped pictures of some very interesting vessels. The ship didn't leave until later that night so people had a chance to experience the nightlife, if the wanted. Us, we had an 8:30 PM Portofino table waiting. Portofino was fine, as usual. We always do it on sail away from San Juan so a near sail away from Gran Canaria was almost as beautiful. Day eight - Tenerife Here we also booked a ship tour to the interior. This is where my family comes from so I really wanted to see the town of La Laguna. We had a competent tour guide full of history who made a good balance in addressing the passengers both in English and Spanish. La Laguna was an interesting place. Perhaps not as pretty as the other Spanish towns/ports, but full of history itself. I am glad that I was able to get my mom the silver crucifix she always wanted from the San Francisco Cathedral. There I said a prayer for my dearly departed family who never got to go back to the Canaries, especially my father, and asked for a safe passage across the Atlantic during the upcoming week. This was a special moment for me because my great grandfather had done the same thing a hundred years earlier before he and his brothers departed for America. Once again, the ladies stayed in Santa Cruz shopping while I wandered around the harbor side. Our great Adventure of the Seas was docked at the far end of the dock and it was quite a long walk, especially while hauling the ladies' coats which were not needed anymore. For sail away we went on the helicopter deck. From there we could see that the crew had a little celebration of sorts going on in the bridge, possibly because they were happy to be finally sailing BACK TO THE CARIBBEAN! Six days at sea I am not going to break down our crossing day by day as this review is already long enough. I was really looking forward to six days of relaxation after being toured out for the past week and few days. I personally think that it is preferable to do the transatlantic cruises in the westbound direction because of this. Well, if you live in the Americas, anyway. Before arriving in Gran Canaria the Spanish air traffic controllers had gone on strike so that messed up the exchange of entertainers for our last leg. The juggler/comedian barely made it on board and the airline left all his stuff behind but he still managed to pull off his act quite well. The boat was still rocking and rolling for the first couple of days at sea. Pool people like me were defying the elements to stay outdoors. It was getting too stuffy indoors and the "Adventure Cough" had spread around considerably. It was largely noticeable while waiting for show times. At night, I resorted to shutting of the cabin a/c and opening the balcony door to get some fresh air into our stateroom. By this time my wife had caught on the cold so this helped her cough a lot. I did not get it until disembarkation day. I am amazed at how the galley crew was able to keep the food fresh. We never lacked fruits, vegetables, eggs and other easily perishable stuff like that. Once again, kudos to them. Since sea days are more lazy, we stopped having breakfast in the MDR and started using the Windjammer. Six sea days of big breakfasts, bigger than necessary, really. I had also worried about keeping from getting bored during all those sea days, but the crew did a great job with the activities and we finally got to see and do everything around the ship, to include the rock climbing wall which we never had done before. After the third sea day we were enjoying warm weather so it was pool-hot tub-drinking and dancing Caribbean style from here on out. I am surprised that so many people still elected to stay indoors so we always had plenty of room around the pool decks. Oh, what a great time we had. A fourteen night cruise is just long enough and it has to end at some point. I got up early on the last morning to watch as the ship glided home into the beautiful San Juan harbor. What a great view of the old city as the ship sails in. As we approached the dock I saw only one person onshore meeting the ship and handling the lines. That was a sign of things to come during disembarkation morning. The disembarkation "issues" have by now been very well documented in CruiseCritic, so I won't spoil my post with my experience there. I have not much to complain about anyway since I live in San Juan and didn't have to stress about missed flights like most other people did. I'll just say that I am sorry that it happened but December 12 was not a typical turnaround for the Adventure of the Seas. This was quite an experience for me and from now on I'll view the Adventure of the Seas, its crew, the Atlantic Ocean, and on east to the Canaries, Africa and Europe with a more enlightened outlook. Thank you. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
Before I dive in, just want to take a moment to thank all of you trip-report-writers. Your reports were an invaluable asset in planning our vacation. Thank you so very much for taking the time to share your experiences. WHAT WE ... Read More
Before I dive in, just want to take a moment to thank all of you trip-report-writers. Your reports were an invaluable asset in planning our vacation. Thank you so very much for taking the time to share your experiences. WHAT WE LIKED Overall, my husband and I really enjoyed our News Years' cruise on Royal Carribean's Adventure of the Seas and would definitely recommend it. It wasn't the biggest, best, newest ship in the world, but it DID offer an awesome itinerary and something for everyone in our widely-diverse group. If those are your needs, then this is a great cruise for you. We loved the itinerary because every morning (except the last) found us in a new port, and at a pier (as opposed to tender) by 8:00 am. This gave us the freedom to get on and off the boat quickly and easily, and explore for a full day. Having been on 7-day cruises with 2-3 days at sea, we found this a huge plus and would look for it again! We departed from San Juan, PR on Sunday, were in St. Thomas on Monday, St. Croix on Tuesday, St. Kitts on Wednesday, Dominica (pronounced dom-in-EEE-ka) on Thursday, Barbados on Friday, and at sea on Saturday. This trip was a family vacation, generously provided by my father. As a result, our group included my dad (a gentleman in his 80's who has cruised many many times), my husband and I (a couple in our young 40s, who have been on just 4 cruises), and my sister's family (also in their 40s with four kids - ages 17, 16, 13, and 12 - on their second cruise). This ship worked well for us because the youngest enjoyed the mini golf, inline skating, rock wall and (I must include) soft-serve machine, while the teens enjoyed the freedom of hanging with their own, and the adults liked being able to retreat to the relative calm of the solarium area. We were also fortunate with the weather. The temps ranged from about 79-degrees in Puerto Rico to about 85-88 degrees in Barbados. While Puerto Rico was a most cloudy and windy, by the time we hit Barbados it was truly tropical - a real treat as the northeast got hit with 30" of snow. Previous holiday trips departing from the mainland never got us the warmth and the sun we enjoyed during this trip ... though I heard we were a bit blessed this week! Overall, we found the ship clean, the crew friendly and helpful, and the food to be 'very good.' We did not experience any of the rudeness that had been reported in some of the earlier summer posts (thought the premium price of a holiday cruise could be the cause of that), nor did I hear of any thefts or illness. I also have to thank the Christmas Cruisers, as they appear to have worked out any water issues by the time we boarded. WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE While I understand it, I did not like the new trend to offer up-sells. I don't think I should be asked to pay more to use a golf-simulator or attend a wine tasting or eat at a specialty dining room or add a cut of Filet Mignon to my menu while on my cruise; it takes a bit of the glamour out of a vacation like this when you constantly have to pay more to get the luxury experience you thought you had already paid for. I miss the shampoos/conditioners/etc. that used to be provided, chocolates on the pillow, and the midnight chocolate buffet. We ate all of our dinners in the dining room at the early seating and had very good meals... on all except the last night. Our waiter's recommendations - not the Chef recommendations - were nearly always the BEST option by far. In particular, I really enjoyed the prime rib the first night, the shrimp scampi, rack of lamb, filet and shrimp, and lobster tail dinners. The very last night was the only one in which nothing wowed me and so I went with basic salmon and it was okay. The Caesar salad was consistently good too. For appetizers, I really enjoyed the escargot and asparagus soup. Getting hungry just thinking about it all! Our waiter Boon often spoiled us by bringing out 'samples' to try before we ordered and often second dinners once he learned our tastes, so we never missed a special item. We did not attend any of the shows because none of them sounded particularly interesting - except the ice show which we missed getting tickets for. Like a previous post noted, we didn't run into any particularly great musicians in the lounges and found the few interactive games to be too short and/or canceled. That said, this didn't really disappoint us because we tended to go to bed early in order to enjoy full days. From the talk around the boat, it sounded like the best shows were the newlywed game and the ice show. What else? Oh! Flying in a day or two early - and/or buying insurance - I think is critical during winter months with unpredictable weather. My husband and I flew out of DC on the Friday before our cruise. A mechanical failure had us delayed for over 5 hours in Charlotte. The 40 passengers on our flight that were catching a cruise that day were frantic. Also, we heard over 1,000 folks missed our own boat's departure on Sunday due to snow that hit the northeast. I think they caught up to us in St. Thomas, but am not really sure. OUR DAYS/EXCURSIONS Day 0, Sun., Puerto Rico - My husband and I checked out of the Conrad hotel in Condado and went to the airport (a short 10-15 min. ride) to pick up my dad who got in at 11:00 am. Since it was a cloudy/windy day and we had bags, we went direct to the pier, even though we were told NOT to bother arriving before 2:00. We figured, if we had to wait somewhere, why not on line at the pier? Well, we got lucky - we got to the pier around 11:45 (only 20 min from the airport) and I think they started processing folks a little after 12:00 because we weren't waiting long before the line started moving. We were on board and having lunch in the Windjammer by 12:45. My sister used the afternoon to book spa visits for our dad, find our dinner table, and get the kids settled and unpacked - my husband, father and I used the afternoon to learn the location of the bars! Day 1, Mon., St. Thomas - Deep Sea Fishing with About Time Charters The one thing my father really wanted to do on this trip was go deep sea fishing with his grandsons. This is the one excursion I didn't book through the ship. Having been to St. Thomas before, I knew we could find a cheaper alternative on our own - and we did. I booked a charter for me, my husband, dad, and two nephews with About Time Charters for $600 for a ¾ day (6 hours) by calling them in advance. (ONLY hassle was that they only accept cash or travelers checks so I had to be sure to get those in advance.) We got off the ship a little before 8 - no line, no fuss, no muss - and we were the first folks to grab a cab. After a memorable, twisty-curvy 15-20 min. cab ride, we were over to Red Hook's American Yacht Harbor and out to sea a.s.a.p.! It was a GORGEOUS day! Calm seas, blue skies, soft fluffy clouds - but no fish. My youngest nephew reeled in a 12" black fin tuna and the other caught a 30" barracuda, but that was it. We actually cut the trip short to head in early because the youngest got sea sick (five times!) and we just couldn't stand to see him suffering through it! On the way back to the boat, we caught one of the $2 per person safari buses back to the pier. It was a slow ride with lots of stops but for only $2 pp, and with no time constraints, who cares??? (One of the things I hate about St. Thomas is their practice of charging taxi fares per person and so this was a pleasant alternative! Now I might actually consider going back!) While we brought the required 'picture id' with us every time we got on and off the boat, the only thing we EVER needed was our Sea Pass card. I'm sure it was good we had our IDs, but I must admit that boarding and disembarking were as easy as slipping our card in the machine! Day 2, Tues., St. Croix - SCUBA Diving with Cane Bay Dive Shop This was my favorite day of the cruise. We'd booked a two-tank wreck dive but due to some boat issues, the operator had to change the dive to a two-tank reef/wall dive with shore entry that was spectacular. They bused all of the divers over to their shop on the North shore - an easy 25 min. ride - where we discovered a wall dive just 100 ft off shore. The entry was from the beach that is located directly across the street from the dive shop and offered a pretty easy entry since seas were calm. That said, it did require a 100 ft kick-out before we dropped down but the reef was abundantly healthy and we saw a ton of hard and soft corals and wide variety of colorful reef fish. It was literally like swimming through an aquarium! The visibility was over 80 feet, the water temp was 79 degrees, the sun shined on us all day. Ahhh, heaven! The dive operation was VERY professional. As busy as they were with two boats in port, all of the equipment was handled well, briefings were thoroughly given, and groups were broken up into manageable groups of 8-9 divers per guide. All top notch! On the first dive we kicked out, then went down and traveled the wall at 60-80 feet from east to west; on the second dive went west to east and hovered mostly around 60-40 feet. I could have spent the week there! After our dives, my husband and I enjoyed a fantastic lunch at Eat (restaurant) located adjacent to the dive shop, with a view of the beach. Can't beat sitting at the bar enjoying great food with great company looking out at a beautiful beach! We stayed on the Cane Bay beach until 4:00, then caught the last shuttle back to the boat. It was a fantastic day! Day 3, Wed., St. Kitts - Sky Safari Zip Lining Wow! What another great day. When my sister texted me to ask if I would take her three kids NOT afraid of heights zip lining, I thought, "sure, no problem, did it in Cancun last year, easy!" Boy was I in for a surprise! In St. Kitts, the first of four zip lines travels ACROSS a ¼ mile line the spans two peaks, at a height of roughly 25 stories! This was a heck of lot higher then what I experienced in Cancun! The operation is situated on the site of an old sugar cane mill and is very picturesque. The guides were all wonderful and clearly seemed to be enjoying their work, which was nice. Guess I should mention that the site is technically in the rain forest so you might want to take a waterproof jacket; it rained on us once or twice, though not enough to dampen our spirits. They bus you to the tour site, get you all geared up, and then do a sample run about 10 ft off the ground so you have a chance to get comfortable with what you need to do before they take you to the top for the first run. The kids loved it and so did we - though this trip is not for the faint of heart! At the end of the tour, they take you back to the office and try and interest you in a few photos before bussing you back to the ship. While we were waiting, a local boy came by with his baby monkey so the kids got to see one up famous St. Kitts monkey's up close and personal. It was very cool - though sad to learn the monkey population is 5x that of the human population and, thus, not protected. Day 4, Thurs., Dominica -- River Tubing & Emerald Pool Adventure Okay, this was another fantastic excursion! Everyone in our group (except my dad) participated and had a blast. The river tubing has some significant rapids so this is not your lazy float down a river tubing trip. We had toyed with bringing dad and he would NOT have been up for the bouncing and bobbing experienced on this tour! The scenery in the gorge was beautiful and, like on St. Kitts, the few passing sprinkles that went through did not ruin our mostly-sunny day. At the end of the tube ride, they took us to a welcome center for rum punch, then on for another 20-30 min. ride to the national park where you hike in ¼ mile or so to the Emerald Pool. It wasn't a huge fall - they say 50 ft though I thought it looked more like 35-40 - but it was very pretty. The boys had a lot of fun climbing the rocks and getting under the falls while the girls found the water a little too cold for their tastes! It took us 30 min. to get back to the boat and so we didn't get back until around 4:00. With dinner seating at 6:00, that's just enough time to get a little hot-tub time in before needing to shower and change for dinner! Day 5, Fri., Barbados - Tiami Five Star Catamaran & Turtles This was the kids' favorite day of all - though I was really surprised they said it topped either the zip lining or tubing/waterfall day! I think the best part was that this was the one event EVERYONE got to do together! Also, this was probably the best weather day of the trip. While it sprinkled on us 2-3 times here as well, it was easily the warmest and most tropical of the islands. Everyone loved Barbados. When we got to the terminal meeting point to pick up this tour (you have to walk though a maze of shops to get to the terminal), we were told that the conditions at their normal snorkeling spot was too rough to guarantee turtle viewings so had to be changed. While not required, they offered anyone who didn't want to go a full refund which I thought was very generous of them. We didn't care - we were there for a day on a catamaran and we were not disappointed by our choice to go. In fact, it probably worked in our favor as the catamaran that normally takes 80, only had about 65 folks on board, so we had a comfortable about of space to move around in. (Can't imagine what it would have been like at capacity!) We also lucked out in that we were able to see turtles at the first stop! We had a great time snorkeling with the turtles, enjoyed a wonderful lunch on the boat, snorkeled at an okay wreck site at the second site, and then really had fun jumping off the boat MULTIPLE times and swimming to the beach at the last stop. From the beach stop, we were just a 10 min. ride back to the catamaran dock. What a great way to wrap up a year! Day 6, Sat., At Sea Spent the last day lounging pool-side. It was a bit windy at times but hot in the sun... which is just what you want on the last day of your Caribbean vacation! Day 7, Sun., Puerto Rico - Travel Day I think it took a while for the ship to get cleared upon our return because they didn't start calling the folks slated for an 8:00 am departure off until almost 9:00 and so we were all pushed back about an hour. That said, once called, exiting moved pretty quick, customs was straight forward and easy, and cabs were lined up to take you the short 20 min ride back to the airport. The weather was windy, overcast and rainy so it made it easy to wave good bye and head home. Our flight home was direct - and left on-time.... unlike the miserable, delayed-flight we had on the way IN! With the direct flight, it made me realize just how easy and convenient it is to catch a cruise out of Puerto Rico and I would definitely consider doing it again! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
A cruise is what you make it, so we had a marvelous time. We met a lot of great people and achieved our desire to get away from it all and to relax. Having cruised with Princess three times we had an idea of what to expect. We were ... Read More
A cruise is what you make it, so we had a marvelous time. We met a lot of great people and achieved our desire to get away from it all and to relax. Having cruised with Princess three times we had an idea of what to expect. We were of the understanding that Royal Caribbean is a step up from Princess, but we didn't find that to be true. In fact, given the choice to cruise again, we'd lean towards going with Princess over Royal Caribbean. The cruise entertainment director was incredible. Other entertainment staff lacked enthusiasm. The country western line dancing class was Latin instead. The instructor said he didn't know how to do country and western line dancing. The class was a very brief 15 minutes. The same instructor was supposed to teach a poolside class on Christmas day. Small groups of people stood in front of the stage waiting to begin. He made several announcements about the event and then left the stage. I guess we were supposed to tap him on the shoulder and tell him we wanted to dance? Eventually we left. We had one day of rain when a wine tasting was scheduled. We had checked the price the night before and was told it would be $10. Because it was raining, we elected to stay on the ship and attend the wine tasting. Unfortunately when the doors opened the rate had changed to $30 for a special Bordeaux wine tasting. Everyone left and 15 minutes later, a glance into the room showed the event had not happened. Too bad, it was raining and people were looking for something to do. Trivia events were quick 15 minute deals. Maintenance on the ship done two mornings at 8:15 A.M. Lots of banging on pipes which came through loud and clear. Inside cabin: The couch was a nice touch, but was wasted space. I would not recommend Royal Caribbean's interior room for 3 people. Shopping experts new their stuff and were very helpful. Restrooms were kept very clean, especially on our day at sea! Nice fitness room, lots of equipment. No need to wait. Plenty of poolside chairs. Well patrolled by staff too. That was a definite plus for Royal Caribbean. Princess has had a lot of issues with lack of chairs and chair saving. Missed the continuous buffets. Royal Caribbean had the small promenade eating area for off times, but there was little selection. DON'T buy a milkshake from Ben & Jerry's on the promenade. Where's the ice cream? Bottom line, a cruise is what you make it, but if you're looking for lots of little fun things to do besides sitting at the pool on days at sea, find another ship or cruise line. The staff leading these events lack enthusiasm and commitment. I'm not sure that a first time cruiser on this ship would have a true representation of what cruises are all about. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
My sisters 50th birthday cruise, it started in San Juan we arrived two days before the ship sailed, we stayed at the Marriott Renaissance great place $ 20.00 from the airport, $ 20.00 to the ship, hotel on the beach located downtown, great ... Read More
My sisters 50th birthday cruise, it started in San Juan we arrived two days before the ship sailed, we stayed at the Marriott Renaissance great place $ 20.00 from the airport, $ 20.00 to the ship, hotel on the beach located downtown, great place to eat Across the street from hotel, cafe De Angel ( says best PR food in town ) great food ( MUFUNGO WAS GOOD ) Rum was good, there is a Starbucks it was all good the local coffee was OK!, our group of 16 Arrived on Saturday they were slowed by the snow in NC, they had a great time in San Juan with us.12/19 Sunday ship day our board time was 2:00 pm hotel staff was great they rushed us off in two taxi like vans when we were ready, $ 4.00 each with bags, we Arrived at the pier and there she was a GRAND SHIP ADVENTURE OF THE SEAS , we had Doug with us a Diamond Award card holder he said and we all went in and were on board in 15 min and in our AFT 9692 cabin, my wife and i went right back down off the ship and they were selling water and soda we brought it back on the ship, CABIN: was big with a big balcony no obstructed view from the structure, cabin was WOREN OUT scuff marks all over, stains on couch, carpet dirty, this was my 12Th cruise first with RCCL, brown water came shooting out of the sink when we went to was our hands, ALL WEEK NOT GOOD!, after second day told hotel mgr, said its all over the ship clogged pipes, he had water brought to the cabin twice a day! MMM!! we headed up to explore the ship went to the windjammer cafe BIG problem the food was good oh boy my diet is done, there was a big selection of all kinds of food for all people, we went on the ship decor was in the holiday spirit, Christmas decorations all over , there were lots of pools and fun on the lido deck waiting to be had, all bags arrived , drill was mandatory but fast, cabin boy Envied was good in and out get you what you need, OK here its is water all week brown out of bathroom sink, room wore out, we went through 5 room card keys they would not work this was a issue all over the ship replaced with no problems by front desk staff, food great, windjammer good , johnny rockets OK you no, portofinos great food great service must try once, dinning room food was good the head waiter Chandler was above and beyond with his service thank you , Jose the asst waiter was good and on top of things, the server Marisa was from south Africa very judgemental, OK service she had to be there i guess, service in all of the lounges were great , Matt at the champagne bar was good, Day1 ST THOMAS was good lots of shopping four ships in town had a great lunch at a local cafe, good buys DAY 2 ST MARTAIN went to Orient BEACH BOOM BOOM JAM CAFE ON THE BEACH ,went in the ocean water was great, went to the butterfly farm also it was a fun day. DAY 3 ST KITTS we all 16 of us went to the beach and party ed all day swimming jet skiing and buckets of beer, DAY 4 GREANADA spice island is right smelled great was raining allot hard when we arrived very pretty island went on the west cost spice tour, DAY 5 ST LUCA rained all day but did not stop us all 16 of us went to the beach in the rain had local beers (pitons) cold and ate in a cafe and went shopping, DAY 6 Christmas its was all i thought it would be Santa coming aboard eggnog friends and my wife on the cruise ship, the holiday on ice show was great, Disembark was smooth off in 5 min this was a birthday cruise for my sister Carmella's 50Th, we sang every night and all night happy birthday all week to her , i love you SISSY. if we were to loud for those that were there were all very sorry. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
I should preface my comments by saying I am a big Royal Caribbean fan. I love the value for money the company provides, the programs for kids and the amenities they have on their ships. I have sailed on many Royal Caribbean ships ... Read More
I should preface my comments by saying I am a big Royal Caribbean fan. I love the value for money the company provides, the programs for kids and the amenities they have on their ships. I have sailed on many Royal Caribbean ships from the smallest in their fleet (The Majesty) to all of Freedom Class Ships (Freedom, Independence and Liberty)and was certainly looking forward to sailing on the Adventure of the Seas because of its itinerary and because it came highly recommended from a couple we cruised with the previous New Year's (on the Majesty). Unfortunately, it did not end up being our best cruise experience, although we certainly enjoyed bringing in the New Year in the Caribbean. While it was cold that week even in Florida, we had beautiful weather. HITS - Itinerary - The itinerary was lovely. St. Thomas, St. Kitts, St. Croix, Domenica and Barbados. A jam packed week to snorkel, powerboat, beach and shop. Gotta love duty free shopping! Cruise Director - Anna Bass was a wonderful cruise director (and the first female cruise director I have experienced on 15 + cruises). She was delightful, energetic and clever. Cabin Stewart (9308) - We had a wonderful attentive cabin steward. I think Royal does tend to put their top attendants with customers in Junior Suites and Suites. Diamond Bar - As Diamond Members we had access to a wonderful bar on Deck 14 overlooking the ocean. This was very nice. Free champagne every night. Wine Selection - Surprisingly a very impressive wine list - one of the best on any cruise I have been on. MISSES - Entertainment - By far the WORST entertainment I have seen at sea. Comedian was tragic, dance shows were amateurish and who needs to see another juggler? and the pool side band was TRAGIC. Portofinos - Very slow service in alternative restaurant with just average food. Plus no large wine glasses for the $160 bottle of Cabernet we ordered. Pretty rinky dink until we made a fuss and they found two and a decanter. Overall food - Average Recognition event - Royal usually puts on a lovely event for their frequent cruisers (Platinum, Diamond and Diamond Plus). Here representatives from all of the departments are present, the Officers and the Captain, who always says a few words. This event was very poor. No captain, no receiving line as we left, nada. Hardly made us feel special. So overall I would give the Adventure 3 stars. A nice ship but I had a much better experience on her sister ship The Navigator two years earlier. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
I was very disappointed in this cruise. It's been a while since I cruised with RCI: this is my 14th cruise overall, but the last 3 have been with NCL, much more successfully. We had decided to try RCI again because we were very ... Read More
I was very disappointed in this cruise. It's been a while since I cruised with RCI: this is my 14th cruise overall, but the last 3 have been with NCL, much more successfully. We had decided to try RCI again because we were very attracted to the ports on this ship, and they were great: San Juan (embarkation), St. Thomas, St. Croix (our least favorite), Dominica, St. Kitts and Barbados. But the ship itself did not live up to the standards I have come to expect since cruising other lines. We arrived in San Juan 2 days early, only to experience a 5.4 earthquake at the airport! Luckily no one was hurt, and there was just some minor damage at the American Airlines terminal. We stayed in Old San Juan at the Sheraton--not my favorite hotel, but it was adequate. The rooms were institutional and the casino took up the entire lobby, something Trip Advisor had warned us about. But the pool on the roof was nice-small but with a view and a warm hot tub. We ate well in restaurants in the city, basically going to places that smelled good! Embarkation on the day of the cruise included long lines and no personnel with whom to ask questions: why were we waiting? Turns out it was only to hand over our luggage, again something that has been much better handled for us on other lines. Once inside, where to go was not explained and it was confusing. I ended up translating explanations for some French-speaking passengers who were lost. Our cabin was ok: a balcony stateroom that was on the large size for us but decorated in washed-out peaches and light green instead of the vibrant colors and cherry-stained wood we're used to on NCL. The shower only fit one person instead of the two we're again used to on NCL (!). Our stateroom attendant, a lovely young woman from Trinidad, was excellent: unobtrusively available, cleaning up our mess every day, always cheerful and just very very nice. Our balcony was tiny--no more lounge chairs on balconies?--only room for two small chairs and a small table. Ah well, guess it's back to ocean view for me; with some vertigo I'm not much of a balcony person anyway. The ship was cavernous, yet crowded: with that many people it was impersonal. The main promenade was geared to sucking money out of passengers, not for creating an intimate, socializing atmosphere like other ships I've been on. The coffee bar had the ambience of a fast-food restaurant or diner instead of the relaxed, even luxurious atmosphere of the coffee bars on the last three NCL ships I've cruised on. It was nice to have pizza and sandwiches available for free there for quick snacks but it didn't make up for what it lacked. I'm really trying not to rant here, but dinner was a disaster, food-wise--I sent dishes back twice which is something I've never done before on a ship. A seafood dish didn't taste like seafood, and the prime rib was as tough as an eraser. Both were replaced adequately, but when you're paying $400 a day that just shouldn't happen. In terms of service, as I mentioned our stateroom attendant was excellent and our dining staff did the best they could with really bad food. The one show we went to was boring, and two piano bars we went to were using canned music. The C&A Society party was a dud: nice little appetizers but no presentation of the staff or officers (as on NCL)--just a pitch to buy more cruises! The ice show, on the other hand, sparkled: even more fun since we had met the lead skater Thierry at the muster and got a personal wave. Then there were the ports, and thank goodness for them since they were really great. St. Thomas: went to a little hideaway beach recommended by a fellow CCer that was lovely. St. Croix: taxi situation not so well set up for tourists. Our fault that we got off the ship late and couldn't get into Sandcastle Beach Resort--taxi took us to Rainbow Beach instead which we felt was seedy so we walked around town a bit (nice) and went back to the ship. St. Kitts: lovely green, mountainous island. Even though it was raining went to Shipwreck Beach, hung out with the monkeys and waited out the rain under the palapas. Sun never really came out but lay on this beach with the beautiful view of the mountains and totally relaxed. Would love to go back. Dominica. Amazing. Suffice it to say we saw three giant rainbows arching over the town from the view from our balcony. That is because here it rains, then it's sunny, then it rains again and boy is this island mountainous, lush and green and filled with waterfalls! We took a fabulous, independently arranged tour with Bumpiing Tours--we swam in a gorge, cannonballed into a waterfall, and soothed away cares in a warm soak in a natural hot springs. Our guide, Levi Baron, stopped the van along the way and showed us passion fruit and cashews growing wild along the road. This was a tour to remember for a lifetime. Barbados: Pre-arranged to go to Accra Beach Hotel with a day pass. Very quiet, tame and civilized after Dominica. Probably a lot cheaper just to go to Accra Beach and rent a lounge chair but we did get to use the pool. Pastry and coffee across the street delicious and again, civilized. Disembarkation crowded and a little chaotic but we made it home safely on a non-stop flight. Overall the ship didn't have the intimacy and the excitement of the past three NCL cruises I've been on. The problems with the food really exacerbated the situation. But, as you can tell, I loved the ports: they really made the cruise worthwhile. However, I would think twice seriously before cruising with RCI again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
Stayed at the San Juan Water & Beach Club for one night post cruise. Great! This was our 12th cruise, 3rd with RCCL. Once we FINALLY boarded on Sunday, most everything was fine. We arrived at the pier at 10:15 AM on ... Read More
Stayed at the San Juan Water & Beach Club for one night post cruise. Great! This was our 12th cruise, 3rd with RCCL. Once we FINALLY boarded on Sunday, most everything was fine. We arrived at the pier at 10:15 AM on Sunday. Did NOT board until 3:00 PM!!! Apparently since the ship had just arrived from a TA crossing after 6 months, a full immigrations/customs inspection had to be done. RCCL should have known about this and planned accordingly. They really let us down. Absolutely horrible lack of planning on their part. No excuse for it. Fortunately, we arrived early enough that we had a seat inside. But once the boarding began, it was organized chaos. People started pushing and shoving. Some of the RCCL staff managed to get it under control a little bit. Passengers talked about it all week. It didn't really do us any good to fly in a day early as a result. We would have boarded around 3:00 anyway had we flown in that day. Cabin - Cabin was always very quiet. Bed was very comfortable. Typical cramped closet space. Shower was great - no shower curtain. Had doors instead (round) so it was a little roomier than others. Balcony was nice, but kind of confined. No glass on the bottom - solid metal so you couldn't see through to the water unless you were standing over the rail. Weird. Cabin steward was great! RCCL no longer places chocolates on your pillow nor do they provide robes unless you book a suite. Other cruise lines still have these touches. Food - Main dining room service and food was excellent! Breakfast buffet was average at best. Lunch buffet was horrible. Pizza was the absolute worst. I took one bite and thought I would toss it! Ugh! Ship - One of the best we've sailed on. The Promenade area was really nice. Had a very open feel to it - like being outside almost. Theater was very large and comfortable. Even if you arrived at show time or later, it was always very easy to find a good seat. Ice skating rink was neat. We tried it one day - only lasted 15 minutes!! Shops on board were not great. Not many good sales. Spa - Made an appt for a pedicure. When I arrived, they had screwed up the reservation and had no room for me. They didn't seem to really care that I was ticked about it. Horrible. However, I was telling the head waiter about it, and he called and made an appointment for me. Pitiful that the head waiter had to take care of it. No massage chairs in the pedicure area. Entertainment - Only 2 big production shows, and neither was outstanding. Beatle Maniacs (Beatles cover band) was absolutely incredible!!! Comedian was really good. Not any great bands in the lounges. Several parades down the Promenade that were okay. The ice skating show was fabulous! Barbados - did a half day tour with Glory Tours (recommended on Cruise Critic). Disappointing. St. Lucia - Cosol Tours: one of our best tours ever! St. Maarten - went to Maho Beach and watched the planes come in. Outstanding day!! Antigua - stayed on board. I slept most of the day. Good thing - it poured down rain all day so that worked well for us. St. Croix - went to Sandcastle beach. Gorgeous! San Juan - took a tour before going to the airport; nice way to end the trip. Overall, we had a great time. Staff was very friendly! (Except for the spa!!) However, RCCL is no better than others we have used. They seem to be cutting back on little things. Princess has the best cabin layout since the closet space is much more user friendly and larger. Carnival gives you more for the money. Still love Holland America, too. It will definitely be a while before we sail out of San Juan again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
Pre-Cruise: Our group flew from Miami to San Juan with out problem and caught a cab to the Marriott Stellaris Casino in Condado on Friday, Dec 24. We opted for beautiful rooms which had an incredible view of the beach and ocean... ... Read More
Pre-Cruise: Our group flew from Miami to San Juan with out problem and caught a cab to the Marriott Stellaris Casino in Condado on Friday, Dec 24. We opted for beautiful rooms which had an incredible view of the beach and ocean... Well worth the extra money for the view as the rooms all have balconies. The hotel was gorgeous, the casino was fun, the bartenders sure made some good drinks, but the restaurants at the resort were terrible. There are a lot of great food choices right outside the hotel, it is better to eat outside than inside. AVOID THE POOL BAR AT ALL COSTS HERE! I have never experienced such terrible service in my life. After my order was taken (25 minutes after sitting down), the waiter came back an hour later to tell me that my order couldn't be made and handed us a check for the drinks. Embarkation: After taking a cab from the hotel to the port (Cabs are very accessible and fairly inexpensive; I would recommend this over any transport arranged by the cruise line.) we got in a long line to drop our luggage off. We didn't receive any baggage tags from RCCL in advance, but were provided with ones at the port. (NOTE: To whoever is reading this at RCCL, please reinstate the mailing of Cruise Docs. Having to print everything online is incredibly obnoxious and is not "green", it just transfers the costs of printing to your customers.) After completing a public health survey, waiting in more lines and having our photos taken, we were finally onboard and proceeded to our staterooms. Overall this was smooth, just note that a portion of the process is done outside. If it is very hot, bring some water. The Ship: Having sailed on the Explorer twice, this ship seemed very familiar to me. It is very large with over 3100 passengers and 1200 crew; however, the only two places that ever seemed crowded were the royal promenade (at night) and the frozen yogurt machine. (Please add another one!) The casino was of a good size and there were more bars than I could keep track of for the week. The best thing about this ship is that there really is something for everyone. RCCL always manages to take the cruise beyond shuffle board and an after dinner drink. There is rock climbing, mini golf, family pools, the solarium (an adults only pool with two large hot tubs), a sports bar, a small mall of duty free shops and bars. It was great for a large group like us as we could all do different things and enjoy ourselves. The shows were alright. We had a juggling act the first night and a stand up comedian the last night that I liked, but that was about it. The ice skating show was great though; make sure to get your tickets once onboard. TV: Just a note. I really didn't care, but as this was a New Year's Cruise, many people in my group and onboard were not pleased with the adequate coverage of Bowl Games. If you are going to die if you are not guaranteed a certain sporting event, Don't go. Internet: Slow and Overpriced. RCCL has to fix this. They used to offer an unlimited in room package with an Ethernet cable for $120. Now it is all wifi and SLOW! It cost me $7 to update my facebook and scroll thru my email. Unacceptable. The Room: We were in 8593 (Promenade) and 9558 (JS). The promenade room is fairly small, but manageable. Our steward was incredible and was always offering a helping hand when we needed it. (for 8593). I didn't stay in the JS, but it did look really nice. It was very large and had a double sized bathroom and a walk in closet. The balcony was also very large. We had no issues. Dining: I personally felt that this was my best cruise for dining. Our table was located on the 4th floor right next to the balcony, so that we almost had our own private space. Jacob and Denise were excellent servers and were able to put up with a fairly demanding group! Our Head Waiter was also the best we had seen yet! After telling him that I have been to Delhi (Where he is from) he had the kitchen staff cook me a special Indian dish each night after that. He really went above and beyond! The food was alright and I really liked the small portion size. I hate the windjammer. 'nuff said. I did, however, like the 5th floor cafe promenade. The staff was friendly and helpful, and the food was also pretty good! Also, for me, I did find it economical to purchase the Coke package on the first day. Ports of Call: St. Thomas: I spent the day in port enjoying the stores and hitting up a few bars. It was a nice enjoyable day. I also had to run to the airport to pick up friends who missed their flight to San Juan. Taxis in St Thomas are all shared. If you want a private cab it is really expensive and doesn't save much time. Also, taxi drivers here are quite "emotional" if you try to bargain with them. St. Croix: Here we went to do the cruise line's excursion called Beach on the Cay. We drove about 45 minutes to sit on a beach. We were given a strange chair (NOT A CHAISE LOUNGE) and a free drink. It wasn't a very good value, but was convient. St. Kitts: Here we all went on the Volcano Hike thru RCCL's excursions. WARNING: This is an intense excursion!! We went on a very rainy day and it was more of a mudslide than a hike. It was very dangerous, and it is nothing short of a miracle that no one was hurt. It really should have been cancelled. The guides were superb in dealing with disgruntled cruisers and the trail! RCCL recognized their bad and refunded us 50% of the cost of the ticket. Dominica: The HiRopes HiHopes excursion is not just zip lining, but a ropes course. I enjoyed it, but not everyone did. If you are afraid of heights and other things, you are probably better sitting at the beach. We ate in town for lunch. Watch out for people who may harass you outside the port area. We had one man try to sell us "mud" and ask us to buy him booze. (This was more of a humorous experience than a scary one, don't be afraid, it seemed very safe). The shopping here is lacking, but the island is absolutely beautiful! It is one of my favorite Islands! Barbados: We went to the Boatyard, which was a success! We just walked out of the port and asked for a cab to the boatyard, and with in 10 minutes, we were at this beach/bar/restaurant/facility. For $12 you get entrance, a drink, beach acess, water toys (i.e.: a giant trampoline). The bar is a lot of fun and fairly affordable. For entrance, you are also offered a chaise lounge, however, we showed up too late and didn't get any. This was ok as we just found a nice picnic table to sit at. Highly recommended for all ages and people! Just google them, they have a detailed website. Disembarkation: We took a while to clear, but since my group was all Platinum, we got priority disembarkation. It probably took us 10 minutes from walking off the ship to the curb, where there are many taxis waiting. 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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