Sail Date: June 2011
Travelling with my Mum. After an Easy Jet flight into Malaga and a great overnight stay at the Barcelo hotel we opened the blinds on Saturday morning to see our ship in Dock. We left the hotel at 12.00 and took a taxi to the ... Read More
Travelling with my Mum. After an Easy Jet flight into Malaga and a great overnight stay at the Barcelo hotel we opened the blinds on Saturday morning to see our ship in Dock. We left the hotel at 12.00 and took a taxi to the ship. A bit chaotic around the baggage drop, but once that was done we took a stroll over to the large modern cruise terminal where we were checked in. We took our first steps onto the ship at 12.50pm (not bad when we'd only left the hotel under an hour before). As we'd had a good breakfast at the hotel we didn't need lunch so we went straight to the dining room to check our table size. We'd requested a table for 2 but were put on a table for 10! We spoke with the Maitre De who had no problems finding us a table for 2 for the early dining slot at 6.45pm. One of the main things we noticed was the number of spainish on board, I'd say there was a good 70%, there were some Americians/Canadians but not many, plenty of Brits and lots of Irish. Once you realised the Spanish eat late you could avoid the main rush by eating early. Cabin We had a D3 balcony cabin on deck 9 in an excellent location. Cabin size was excellent, with plenty of room for 2. There was a 3 seater couch which I imagine opened into a sofabed. The Bathroom was nicely appointed with an excellent walk in shower. The only amenities was bar of soap and shampoo, luckily we'd packed our shower gel. The Balcony, again was decent size and we used daily. Food We considered the food on board excellent with decent portion sizes. Our wait staff in the Main Dining room was brilliant. They were very attentive and entertaining! Due to the Spanish contingent there were often working into the small hours they said that often they didn't get away from the dining room until 1am due to the 2nd sitting overrunning (quite considerably!) but they still remained cheerful. One of the things we really liked was to be able to go to the dining room for breakfast but buffet style (there was ala carte option still available for those who wanted a sit down breakfast) but the dining room buffet saved the madness of the Windjammer at breakfast time! It was also good to see English Bacon, Sausages, Baked Beans all available (also black pudding) in both the dining room buffet and the Windjammer. One of the other things we liked was the Cafe Promanade where you could get Tea, Coffee and Hot Chocolate together Pizza, Sandwiches, Rolls, Cakes and Cookies 24 hours a day. No queues here! Also some amazing cakes in the Windjammer in the afternoon, including the famous Boston Crème Pie!! For Brits that have never tried this - YOU MUST!! Ports of Call Valencia - little bit disappointed we didn't berth right in the centre of Valencia, we were on the outside of the city and needed a bus in. As we were tired we didn't get off the ship. From what I understand it was a bit of disappointment as the shops are all closed on a Sunday Civitavecchia/Rome - we did RCCL's 'Panoramic Rome' tour. First of all we had been to Rome before where we'd seen all the sights previously. And as my mum doesn't walk too well these days we wanted a tour that was predominately a narrated coach tour and that didn't go on too long. This was perfect about 6 hours in all. We picked up off the ship at around 9am. Then we had about an hour drive into the city. They stopped at a service station for a toilet stop on the way. The tour guide told us lots of interesting facts along the way and once we got into the City she pointed out all the places of interest. We saw the Circus Maximus, Monument of Victor Emmanuel II, Roman Forum, Colisseum, Villa Borghese gardens, Castel Sant'Angelo, via Vento just to name a few. We then stopped for about an hour and half at Vatican City, where you could if you were quick get into the Basilica, or just have a wander in St Peters Square. We were also given a voucher for a free bottle of water and directions to a free toilet in a souvenir shop! The back to the coach and hour journey back to Civitavecchia and we were back on board around 3.30pm before the mad rush. Livorno/Florence - The next day we were in Livorno, so we had a choice Pisa or Florence, we decided on Florence. Again not wanting to do too much walking we chose 'Panaromic Florence' Tour. Again this was similar to the Rome tour however we had around 2.5hours free time in Florence and about an 1.5 drive through the Tuscan countryside. We did stop at a leather factory which to our surprise was quite good, we also got our free bottles of water here. Florence is a much more compact city and easy to stroll around, unfortunately we had very heavy rain storms whilst we were there but that didn't stop us. The main square is near the Cathedral known as the Duomo and Baptistery, we strolled passed the Uffizi with a number of amazing statues including that of Michelangelo's 'David' as we headed to the Ponte Vecchio bridge across the river Arno. We had time for an ice cream before heading back to the coach for our trip back to the Ship. We were back around 4pm Ajaccio - Corsica - The ship docked only a 5 minute stroll from the centre of town with the mountains in the distance with blue skies and sunshine. We didn't take a tour here we just had a wander. There was French market when we arrived which we had a look at, we then headed towards the first of the many statues of Napoleon (who was born here). A short stroll took us to the birth place of Napoleon and then further to a fine statue of him and his 4 brothers in Roman apparel. We were then by a lovely stretch of beach, where we sat and relaxed and watched the world go by. Then back to the ship via a lovely French pavement cafe for some Corsican wine - very good too. I was very impressed with Corsica and would like to go back one day. Florence is also high of my list of places to revisit. Summary All in all a lovely cruise, the staff were all very friendly and seemed happy to work for Royal Caribbean. I would recommend this cruise to anyone wanting a 'taste' of Europe and it just proves you don't need to spend hours on tours to get a feeling for the places visited. Additional Info - There was a 'laundry special' on the Wednesday of the cruise which was useful. We went to the Ice Show which was excellent, had no problems getting tickets after breakfast on the first day they were available Played on the 9-hole putting green a couple of times which was fun Cocktails in the Viking Crown (or rather Blue Moon) lounge was fun and had the best view onboard ship I used the gym a couple of times and also had a fabulous Swedish massage in the Spa. The Casino was fun, you're not going to make money there but most nights we had a good run on the slots for $20 or so, one night winning $70. Internet on board was poor on the ocean by fine when in port, hot spots were not very good and could do with improving. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2011
Malaga Cruise Port is undergoing building work, but no major inconvenience, at check in desk no more than 5 minutes and on ship within 20 minutes of arriving at port. As we were on the ship around 1.15pm we were able to go straight to our ... Read More
Malaga Cruise Port is undergoing building work, but no major inconvenience, at check in desk no more than 5 minutes and on ship within 20 minutes of arriving at port. As we were on the ship around 1.15pm we were able to go straight to our stateroom and leave any hand luggage that we had brought. As with all voyager class ships all staterooms are nearly the same regardless of what ship you are on. A general summary of the cruise is that, there were too many people on board, this sailing was at full capacity and didn't we feel it. Sea days were a nightmare!!! the windjammer was the worst I have ever seen, long queues for lifts, not enough deck chairs and not enough seats in Windjammer. 85% of the people on board were Spanish, with the majority loud and downright rude, they get into the lift before you can even get out, they squeeze in, even if there is no room and don't seem to have any control over their children, they run about screaming, congregating in door ways for a loud conversation with each other, refusing to move to let people past. I have been told this is the norm with ships going out of Malaga, well, never again. Never had these problems with Barcelona. Ship was nice, although you could feel you were on a ship from the moment we left Malaga, Adventure has a constant vibration that I have never felt on either the last 2 trips on the Voyager or the Liberty of the Seas. Bar staff as usual were excellent, although speaking with them, they are not keen on the number of spanish people on board either. Would I sail with Royal again, looking at the prices for next year probably not! Drink is very expensive on board, but you do get good measures, probably why the Spanish don't spend any money! We are trying NCL in October so we will have to wait and see if we will be back with RCCL in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2011
Adventure of the Seas June 18th 2011 7 Nights Fly Cruise Manchester - Malaga - Jet2 Superior Outside Balcony Day 1 - Malaga Day 2 - Valencia Day 3 - At Sea Day 4 - Civitavecchia Day 5 - Livorno Day 6 - ... Read More
Adventure of the Seas June 18th 2011 7 Nights Fly Cruise Manchester - Malaga - Jet2 Superior Outside Balcony Day 1 - Malaga Day 2 - Valencia Day 3 - At Sea Day 4 - Civitavecchia Day 5 - Livorno Day 6 - Ajaccio Day 7 - At Sea Day 8 - Malaga Background I am 35 years old, the DW celebrated her 31st birthday during the cruise. We live in Cheshire, England, no children, two cats. This is our fifth cruise but the first in 7 years. Over the last 7 years we have been addicted to Disney World Florida. We rarely take summer vacations as we prefer to find the sun in winter, however, for various reasons we didn't go this winter so about half way through May we were itching for a holiday. Florida was far too hot and humid for May, we considered San Francisco, where we had gone two years previous and loved it but the price was out of our budget. We were going to Florida again in January 2012 (I'm entered in the Disney Marathon) so saving for that was priority. We started talking about cruising to my parents who had not long back sailed on the RCI Mariner of the Seas and they raved how much bigger and better they were compared to the cruises we used to go on (Airtours and Thomson). We jumped on the website to look for a fly cruise from Manchester commencing on the 18th June (so it would include the DW's birthday). We weren't too fussed on itinerary as we didn't want to do any site seeing, this was purely about relaxing and unwinding, also the shorter the flight the better. We favoured going to Barcelona but RCI had no flights left from Manchester and we didn't want to arrange our own. They did however have flights left for Malaga for a cruise on Adventure of the Seas. We researched the ship on cruise critic and loved the fact it had a adult only solarium. Not having to save money for expensive restaurants (as we would have in Disney) we were able to upgrade to a Superior Balcony Stateroom. The booking process was very smooth and efficient and we immediately started counting the days to embarkation. Day 1 - Manchester to Malaga Checked in at Terminal 1 Ground floor. Got there at 4:40am, exactly two hours before takeoff. There was a queue at check in but it was fast moving. Only took 15 minutes from arriving at the airport to checking in our luggage. One thing to note was that by the time we had checked in the queue had become much larger, but Jet2 staff had noticed and were opening more desks. We killed an hour at the airport by getting the obligatory bottles of water and bags of boiled sweets. Boarded the aircraft (737) on time and if it wasn't for Ringway being especially busy that morning we would have taken off on time. Note our flight time was 5 minutes different than that on the cruise documentation. The flight itself was smooth, Jet2 staff were very friendly and efficient. Malaga airport is now a modern epicentre (not the building site I remember from holidays in my youth). Got our luggage in quick time and thus we completed Jet2's role in the start of our holiday and I have to say thus far they were exceptional. As we excited the luggage area we immediately noticed a RCI rep who directed us to a RCI desk. The lady at the desk crossed our name off a list and forwarded us to a further rep just outside the airport who then directed us to take a lift down to level -1 to the coach park and then on to platform 23. When we got there the coach had just filled up so we were then directed to platform 26 for which we were first on an empty coach. The driver efficiently got our luggage on the coach and we took our seats. We would have liked to go on the previous coach to get to the ship quicker but this new coach filled up so quick it didn't make that much difference. Our coach set off around 11:10 Spanish time. The 20 minute journey to the port is a bit dull, Malaga isn't the most picturesque city in the world. Half way through the transfer we spotted the ship and the wow factor hit us immediately and only increased as we got closer to it. The coach pulled up outside the terminal and RCI guys immediately arrived to put our luggage onto trolleys. Ensure your RCI luggage tags (with your room number on them) are securely attached to your luggage as that's the only that's going to ensure you see it again. We then headed off to the port terminal, there was only a small queue. This is a good time to get your documentation out and ready. Passports, Seapass documentation (created via online check in) and your completed health questionnaire (look in the forums for the link, just saves you time filling it in there). Before you get to the Seapass check in you go through security screening and bag check, we moved through this very quickly. The seapass check in area was very busy but very efficient, there was no queue and got a desk almost immediately. With our documentation (mentioned above) in hand it took us 40 seconds to be issued our seapass cards, well done RCI. Seapasses in hand we skipped the areas advertising onboard facilities and headed straight to the obligatory photo. In this area just because there is a queue it doesn't mean you need to be in it, you have your seapasses now so feel free to bypass these signups (you can do them when you are on the ship). Once the photo has been taken you commence on a short walk to the ship itself. Have passports and seapasses handy at this phase, they get checked multiple times (again no queues though). As soon as you get to the ship you will be asked for these one more time and have a security photo taken, once done you are on the ship. Time was now 12 noon, fantastically effecient. We headed straight up to the Windjammer on deck 11 (as two reasonably fit people we pledged never to use the lifts leaving them to more needy cruisers). The Windjammer was busy but we found an empty table immediately. We took turns getting our food, nice buffet food to be honest, hand carved roast beef, gravy, roast potatoes, honey stung chicken, all great. There was water, lemonade and iced tea available at no extra cost. We were done by 12:30, it had been announced that rooms would be available from 1pm so we used the next 30 minutes to explore. What a fantastic vessel Adventure is, really well maintained, we were in love with it already. Got in our room at 13:05, a superior balcony 6358. The stateroom was a decent size, huge bed, the balcony was fine. This is the part of the ship that's showing its age, surely by now flat screen TVs should be standard. The room just felt dated, but the fantastic bed and storage space made up for it. We had one piece of luggage turn up around 13:45, we unpacked it and decided to venture out rather than wait for the other. We toured the top decks and then decks 4 and 5. We eventually laid to rest at the sports bar on deck 5. Three pints of draft Heineken later we giddily headed down to deck 4 for the muster drill at 16:15. It was 38c out on deck 4, not ideal conditions to be standing still for 15 minutes, some of the older guests really struggled with this. Following the muster drill we went back to our cabin where our second and final piece of luggage was waiting for us. We unpacked and grabbed a 30 minutes rest before changing for dinner. Our first destination before dinner was the champagne bar, we knew we would be frequenting this place regularly so we gave a generous tip (following the advice on the forums). This gave us 5 star treatment for the rest of the week, free champagne cocktails and some delicious hot snacks, this was our favourite bar by far. We bought a couple of bottles of champagne which were saved for us each night. It's worth noting at this point that we knew drinks were not cheap and thus we saved accordingly. We're not big drinkers at home but we do like a drink on vacation and we didn't want cost being a barrier. We spent a great deal of money on alcoholic drinks but we knew that would be the case. I make a point of this as we witnessed so many passengers being outraged at the cost of beer, wine and cocktails to a point they refused to drink. Alcohol is so cheap in the UK that it's a huge shock when they see the RCI prices. If you like a drink on vacation please save up your spending money. We were on early sitting at the MDR at 18:45. We prefer this sitting as this is when we would normally eat dinner in the UK. For some bizarre reason waiters are assigned tables based on Valencia not Malaga so this was the last night for our waiter on this table, so no point building up a rapport then. In truth he wasn't that great so it worked out well for us. It was a table for 8, 2 didn't show all week. The other 4 guests were two couples from Scotland, they never made conversation with each other never mind ourselves, this was going to be fun if it stayed like this all week. The DW and myself enjoyed ourselves though, we ordered a bottle of wine each which was saved for us all week, I had the prime rib and it was excellent. After dinner we went to the Dog and Duck pub on the Royal Promenade, they sold Murphy's Red on draft so I was a happy man. They had had a great singer on called Mark Ortiz, his music was right up my street. Our last drink of the night was at the Blue Moon bar all the way up on deck 14 in the Viking lounge, a Caribbean singing duo where just starting their act. The views from the Blue Moon are fantastic, a really nice way to finish the evening. As you can gather our first day was magical, a day that started at 3am in rainy England finished with a Martini cocktail, residing on top a fantastic vessel, cruising up the beautiful east coast of Spain. Shattered and slightly drunk we retired to our huge and comfy bed. Day 2 - Valencia After a good night's sleep we awoke around 8am surprisingly only slightly hung over. We purchased the water package the day before which gave us more than enough Evian to see us to the end of the vacation. As a keen runner and dietician I know water is the cure for almost everything. We weren't due in Valencia until noon so we were still at sea. The sun shone brilliantly into our cabin and the sea air was a welcome alternative to the air con. Sea air is also a great cure for everything (especially heyfever). We like cruising because of the waiter service so the ala carte option in the MDR was our choice for breakfast. This was very quiet and had some beautiful views, a calming civilised alternative to the Windjammer free for all. I had pancakes with a side of bacon, lots of orange juice for rehydration and lots of coffee just to wake me the hell up. The ala carte MDR breakfast option was fantastic. After breakfast we gathered our books and sunscreen and headed up to the pool decks to soak up some sun. There are really lots of sunbathing options, the main pool is unsheltered, has all the entertainment and is kid friendly, towards the front of the ship the loungers are still unsheltered but its more peaceful. Our preferred option was the adult only solarium. They had super comfy loungers, a lovely pool and its own bar, absolutely perfect relaxation. We stayed here until around lunchtime at which point we headed for Johnny Rockets. This was our first let down of the holiday, horrible greasy burgers, even the easy things like fries and onion rings were below par. I am a fan of a really nice burger so I was looking forward to Johnny Rockets, I would avoid, definitely not worth the cover charge. I'd had enough sun for the day but wasn't ready for a snooze yet. Once again based on advice on the cruise critics forums I headed book in hand to the shaded half of deck 4 (the lowest outside deck). I had 200 empty deck chairs to chose from. I have to admit that I am acutely misanthropic, so getting a whole deck to myself was heaven. I was lay on my comfy lounger, feet resting up on the deck rail, listening to Chopin's Nocturne watching the sail boats come and go from the harbour, bliss. Around 14:30 I headed back to the cabin for a 60 minute siesta before getting showered and ready for the evening. We like to start our evening as early as possible, we're not the kind of couple who hug our deck chairs until the sun goes down. Our evening started with a quiz in the Schooner Bar, really nice comfy seating here. There were six teams in the quiz of which ours was the smallest with just the two of us. Smallest but best we "cruised" to a 3 point victory winning the awesome prise of two RCI pens, woot. Embalmed in the glow of victory we headed to the sports bar on deck 5 for a couple of beers and to catch up on the US Open golf. Unfortunately for a sports bar their sports coverage is woeful, all they were showing was Spanish athletics, please sort this out RCI. Our next stop was the champagne bar for a couple of glasses of the fizzy stuff, must say again we loved this place. The port of Valencia is basically just another port for RCI to pick up spanish cruisers. A dull industrial port hardly anyone left to go on excursions. Those that took the shuttle bus complained that, as it was a Sunday afternoon, the city was basically shut. Do yourself a favour and stay on the ship (it's fantastic after all). MDR for dinner was a much better experience, we had our new waiter (Jojit) who was a marked improvement and the scottish quartet didn't show. That left the two of us on our own on a table of 8. We didn't mind as it gave the waiter more opportunity to spoil us. He always told us we could have two of anything if we liked it or have two different starters, I must admit we took advantage. The food was gorgeous and in really nice portion sizes, you never felt overwhelmed or too full, the opposite too our normal Florida vacation. We had a fantastic ocean view from our MDR seat and it was really something to sail out of Valencia whilst starting our dessert and sipping our luscious wine. Following our dinner we headed up to the Blue Moon bar on deck 14, once again using the stairs as an opportunity to burn off that cherry chocolate cake. The Blue Moon bar has the best views of the ocean, we sat back and relaxed watching the sunset. Around 21:15 we went to our cabin to have a drink on the balcony. My sister had somehow had the DW's favourite wine delivered to our cabin as an early birthday present. We had a glass each on the balcony (try and save a bit more for a balcony, it's worth it) and then took a glass with us to the 10pm show in the lyric theatre. We wasn't planning to do many theatre shows but tonight's act was a Elton John tribute act so we decided to give it a go. The theatre is quite impressive, there is waiter service before the show but is very limited during it. The seats were very comfy and had a slot in the chair arm for your drinks. The act started with the usual razzmatazz, I thought his opening songs were rather lukewarm, but then he did Rocket Man and Can You Feel The Air Tonight which he nailed brilliantly and from then on it was fantastic, cheese, but fantastic cheese at that. Watching the audience on stage to dance along to the last song was the funniest thing I have seen for some years. A most excellent way to finish our second day on board Adventure. Day 3 - At Sea Another beautiful day we awoke to the DW's phone alarm at 7:45am. Why so early? Well as well reported in the cruise critic forums the Adventure has more passengers than they have sun beds, so it's prudent to get an early breakfast enabling you to get to the pool deck quicker. We got to the solarium at 8:50am, half the sun beds had gone already, by 10:30am it was chaos. You had passengers lying their towels on an empty space on the floor. There was initially an issue with toddlers in the pool (solarium pool is adult only) but they and their parents were soon asked to leave by uniformed security guards. Well done RCI for enforcing this. It was a fun morning by the pool, it's great fun people watching, especially the different nationalities and cultures. At 1pm we packed up our stuff and headed to cafe promenade for some lunch. We had yummy pizza and cookies for lunch, nom, nom. As we were at sea all the shops were open so we had a good look round, but decided to hold off buying anything just in case it went on sale later in the week (as mentioned in the forums). At 2pm I headed to the casino for the Texas Hold'em tournament (I signed up in the casino just before lunch). I'm not a great fan or tournament poker, I much prefer limit/no limit games, but unfortunately RCI don't off this. It was a $60 buy in, you will be able to use your seapass without incurring a 3% surcharge (unlike when buying dollar chips for black jack roulette). There was only 5 of us, I hung in there for 20 minutes and got to the final 3 players. I only had one decent hand all afternoon and with the blinds doubling every 10 minutes my chip stack was quickly depleting. I went all in on the next half decent hand I had, got called and got a bad beat with my opponent grabbing a flush on the river. At 3pm we went to the ice show, my DW queued in the morning for these and they went quick, many people left empty handied. The show was really good, a few jumps were missed but that just shows how difficult it is. All in all a great show, if not 5 minutes too long. After the show the DW went for a siesta, I surprisingly didn't feel tired so headed to the sports deck to watch the tennis and drink some refreshing beer. Got back to the room around 5:50pm, the DW shaked her head, it was formal night and I was cutting it close. Women never understand how quickly men can get showered and dressed. I was ready for 6:10pm, plenty of time to spare and looking very similar to James Bond. We headed to the champagne bar for pre dinner drinks and snacks (gorgeous mini lamb kebabs). The scottish quartet were back with us in the MDR, but they were in much better spirits than on night one. Food and service were excellent again. After dinner we went to the Imperial Lounge for the first time. It was captain's night and free champagne was available (tasted just ok). The lounge was really nice and had a great singer performing. When he finished we headed to the royal promenade to see the Captain address his passengers, this area was chaos but fun. Once the crowds cleared we grabbed a seat at the Dog and Duck to watch the guitarist Mark Ortiz again, he was excellent. We then ventured to Jesters Nightclub as it was advertised as rat pack night. The place was dead (and dark) so decided to skip it and grabbed a seat at the schooner bar to listen to the fantastic pianist. At 11pm the DW retired to bed and I entered the 11pm Texas Hold'em competition. 8 players this time but the story was the same as the afternoon, I just kept getting killed by river flushes. There was a lot of buzz around the poker table and it did feel quite cool sat in your tux drinking vodka martinis whilst facing off against Europe's elite. A fascinating way to end another perfect day (though $120 lighter in the pocket). Day 4 - Civitavecchia Awoke to the captain's announcement that we had arrived in Civitavecchia, the port and gateway to Rome. We had visited Rome on numerous occasions before so we decided not to take an energy sapping excursion. I donned my running gear for the first time and headed to deck 1 to disembark. It was chaos on dock, hundreds of people trying to find the correct coach. Once my watch had picked up a GPS signal I started my run through the port and then onto Civitavecchia beach. The Adventure was at least 1 mile out from the mainland so bear that in mind if you are planning to walk into Civitavecchia. The beach front was nice but plagued heavily with graffiti. Running wise it was great, especially on the way back when I accidentally ran through a security checkpoint, fortunately I could hear them shouting through my headphones. A flash of my seapass card and I was on my way again. I was so glad to eventually reach Adventure's gangway, the beautiful morning Italian sunshine was starting to pay its toll. It was now too late for breakfast in the MDR (they operate earlier on a port day) so we grabbed a bite to eat in the Windjammer before collapsing on our Solarium sun beds for the morning. With 90% if the ship on shore excursions it was lovely to have all the space and quietness. Being able to move from a bed in the sun in the centre of the solarium to a bed in the shade on the outside of the solarium and vice versa was fantastic. Ate lunch in the Windjammer, this was also deserted so we were able to grab a table next to the window. The food was excellent once again. I am a fan of raw red onion (the super hero of super foods) and the Windjammer's was luscious, especially when combined with hand carved prime rib, of course I went back for seconds. After lunch we went for a walk on the dock to take photos of Adventure and the other ships, it was much more peaceful here now than earlier. After a well deserved siesta the DW went off for her spa treatment, it was her birthday and we had reservations for Portofino at 6:30pm. I of course headed for the sports bar. There was a different bar tender working today, he was a maniac, he just wouldn't stop talking (mainly about Lionel Messi). Thank god other passengers started turning up to give him something else to do, don't get me wrong he was a nice guy but there are limits. The DW picked me up on the way back from the SPA, she said it was excellent and worth the money for a special occasion. We were the first in the Portofino and got our requested table by the window. We wanted be able to see us and all the other ships sail out whilst watching the sun go down. It was a truly perfect experience, very romantic. The food was really nice and the service was worth the surcharge, I would definitely recommend for a special occasion even though I had better meals at the MDR. After a wonderful dining experience we headed off the Imperial Lounge for the Love and Marriage show (Mr & Mrs), They eventually coerced three couples on stage (it was looking unlikely at one point). Our cruise director hosted and he did an excellent job, very funny with adult themed undertones. After the show we stayed for the "Name The Flag" quiz, more people turned up for this than Love and Marriage, a flag quiz for god's sake. The quiz was fun but the host (who was French) was an idiot causing conflict where there didn't need to be any. His lowest point was telling people that the Union Jack was the flag of Great Britain were in fact the Union Jack is the flag of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (or the United Kingdom). When people argued against him he basically told them they were wrong, ouch. We came second out of 15 teams so we finished the evening happy, proud and British. God save the Queen. Day 5 - Livorno Another beautiful sunny day on the Western Italian Coast. The ship emptied early with the majority of passengers going on excursions to Florence and Pisa. We'd visited both before so it was another relaxing day on ship for us. Spent the morning by the pool and the afternoon reading in the shade on deck 4. At 4pm I sauntered down to the sports bar where the lunatic bar man was serving again. This time he had more people to entertain him so he left me in peace. Made quite a few new friends at the sports bar, the same people, same time every day. I had some really great laughs in that bar. As usual we went for a pre-meal drink in the champagne bar at around 6:15pm. We met a Scottish couple who'd had their camera stole in Pisa that day. They were devastated, the camera was replaceable but the photos were not. Rome, Pisa and Florence are rife with pickpockets, beggars and bullying sales people. Our Scottish friends weren't the only victims on the ship that week. We were on our own again in the MDR where we had fantastic food and service once more. We watched the Rock the Movies show in the Lyric Theatre which was nothing short of woeful. There is nothing worse than watching out of shape singers and dancers murdering your favourite songs. In an era of X Factor and American Idol surely RCI must realise the bar has been raised. Only Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You was anywhere near satisfactory. A further issue was for a rock show there was no rock, maybe they were being ironic, don't ya think? On a positive side the band playing the music were excellent, note perfect. We left early to go to 50s 60s music quiz in the Schooner bar. The person hosting was hilarious (but not intentionally), she had all the old timers dancing for extra points which created a really great atmosphere, excellent stuff. We headed up to the Blue Moon Bar for a final drink of the night to watch real singers with real talent. This holiday is going far too fast. Day 6 - Corsica We awoke to our first beautiful view of the holiday, Ajaccio is a really picturesque port. With the harbour only a short walk away from the port it was our first and only destination that didn't require a shuttle bus. Once again the weather was perfect. A morning by the pool was paired with an afternoon walking around Ajaccio harbour taking photos. The harbour had an ample number of restaurants which was full of passengers from Adventure and the neighbouring Thomson Dream taking advantage of much cheaper alcohol prices. In the sports bar in the afternoon I realised what people meant by the ship becoming smaller as the week goes on, you just kept on meeting the same people. Even the Scottish gentlemen from our MDR table popped in the bar for one. They came over to sit with me and we started chatting away, after they'd finish their drink they contemplated a second, I twisted their arm they went for it. Five rounds later they were still propping up the bar. It was formal night and we all just made it to the MDR on time. We were last but we had one in the champagne bar first! We had a great evening, Mark Ortiz was great at the Dog and Duck as was the Pianist at the Schooner Bar. The DW retired at 11pm again allowing me to enter the Poker tournament. It was James Bond night and it was packed, the atmosphere was electric and we even had a cash game once the tournament finished. I finally found my cabin at 2am much lighter in the pocket, but what a great day and night, one to remember. Day 7 - At Sea Our penultimate day on ship, where has the vacation gone? This was a total relax day for us, we spent the morning in the solarium and the afternoon snoozing and then reading out on the peaceful deck 4. We also booked a 4 night cruise for the beginning of 2012 on Monarch of the Seas sailing from Port Canaveral to Nassau and CocoCay. We got some nice on board credit by booking on ship. With it being our last night we handed tips out to our waiters. I added some casino chips to the already prepaid vouchers for our main waiter, he had been terrific after all. Prepaying the tips made the whole process pretty painless but I would have felt hard done buy if the service wasn't up to it, however that was not the case. We retired to bed at a more respectable time conscious of the hectic day to follow, we'd tagged our luggage with the labels provided and moved them out into the corridor for them to be collected. Day 8 - Malaga After nearly feinting at the on board account bill that was slipped under our door we made our way to breakfast. We did the MDR buffet for the first time that week, and I must say we hadn't missed anything, this was probably my least favourite option. Disembarkation went extremely smooth though there was a lack of order around the coaches and it was not easy to spot what coach you should be on. Malaga airport was once again efficient and it wasn't long before everything was checked in and we had moved through passport control. After settling down near our gate area it wasn't long until we heard the bad news that our plain had been delayed. The aircraft had suffered severe technical difficulties in Manchester and hadn't even taken off yet. Jet2 gave us vouchers worth 8 euros to grab lunch which we thought was good of them, though they need to keep their aircraft in better condition to prevent such delays. In the end it was a 4 hour delay, not great, but I've had much worse and it's better to have the delay going home than coming. Summary A fantastic cruise on a fantastic ship but not without some minor flaws, none of which were worth demoting a star for. Having spoke to a lot of passengers during the week I was able to pick up on what the most talked about annoyances were during their weeks cruise. The following are what UK passengers seemed to grumble about the most. 1. The Spanish Extremely loud and rude with unruly out of control children. I never felt any of this, it was obvious the ship was at least 80% Spanish but that never affected my enjoyment of the holiday one bit. 2. Alcohol Price Twice as much as they would pay on a none cruising holiday. True, and if you weren't expecting it I can understand the grumble. 3. Sun bed Availability on Sea Days Again I empathise but this is pretty common on cruises, getting up early is the only solution. 4. Waiting for Lifts Never used one once. I strongly urge you not to use lifts unless you NEED to. God gave you legs and if they still work please use them. You're probably consuming 2X your normal calorie intake on a cruise, a bit of exercise will do you good. Ok, that's other people's grumbles out the way here's mine. 1. TV in the Cabin was awful. Picture quality made you feel like you where in the 1970s. Needs modernisation fast. 2. Even though I liked the Sports bar it could have been improved massively. Better TV's, audio commentary, multiple sports, come on RCI! 3. Smoking. Oh my god!!! I can't believe they still let people smoke in public areas. I suffered badly with my throat and my eyes for days after this cruise because of the amount of smoke. The Dog and Duck, which I loved, constantly resembled a scene out of the movie Backdraft. I am guessing the lax smoking laws are to accommodate the Spanish passengers, whatever the reason its unjustifiable. Secondary smoke kills people. To balance the bad with the good: 1. The Food MDR was fantastic, Windjammer very good, Portifino brilliant service and Cafe Promenade had excellent pizza and cookies. Johnny Rockets was very poor. 2. The Solarium Chilled, comfy, no kids, nice pool, perfect. 3. The Ship Big, but not too big. Thanks for reading, I can't wait for my January 2012 cruise to the Bahamas :-) Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2011
Have just returned from a Mediterranean Cruise embarking at Malaga on Adventure of the Seas. This is a beautiful ship, the staff are really nice and friendly, it has lovely, bigger than usual, inside cabins, the food is great, especially ... Read More
Have just returned from a Mediterranean Cruise embarking at Malaga on Adventure of the Seas. This is a beautiful ship, the staff are really nice and friendly, it has lovely, bigger than usual, inside cabins, the food is great, especially in the Strauss and Vivaldi dining rooms, but I found the drinks very expensive, especially the wine - 9 dollars for a small glass, cocktails - 8 or 9 dollars, spirits approximately 5.50 dollars, although generous measures but sometimes too strong to enjoy. If you want to go ashore there are shuttle buses provided but it costs between 8 and 12 dollars per person. P & O and Island Cruises put on free shuttle buses. Passengers were mainly Spanish and very loud at that and I noticed quite a few who never seemed to wash their hands when leaving the toilet and never used the hand cleanser machine when entering the dining rooms. Staff didn't seem to enforce this rule like they do on other ships I have been on - yuck. Also when on the lift they didn't seem to realise that it could only hold so many people and kept pushing and pushing until you were crammed in like sardines - very rude in my opinion. There were lots of children on this ship and at 1.00am in the morning the last thing you wanted to listen to was screaming tired children in the bars. Lastly, our flight home to Glasgow was 9.00pm but we were told we had to leave the ship at 9.00am unless we paid an additional 35 dollars each in which case we could stay on the ship until 2.45pm when we could get a bus to the airport. We felt we had no option but to pay this as the alternative would have been to walk about in Malaga all day with our cases. To summarise, because we were with friends, we had a great holiday but felt it was very expensive - a big percentage of non British passengers were rude and some very unhygienic and Royal Caribbean - shame on you for being money grabbers, however you should be proud of your staff, they made us feel very welcome. Having said all that I doubt I will go on another Royal Caribbean cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2011
All in all we were completely satisfied with our cruise on the Adventure if the Seas. Despite the ship being 10 years old she is in perfect condition and wouldn't hesitate to sail on her again! The ship is so big that a week ... Read More
All in all we were completely satisfied with our cruise on the Adventure if the Seas. Despite the ship being 10 years old she is in perfect condition and wouldn't hesitate to sail on her again! The ship is so big that a week isn't long enough to do and see everything. We would have liked to have seen a show but we just didn't have time. the ices show was amazing though - just a good if not even better than a West End show. The entertainment all overall was superb and despite most passengers being Spanish the staff did there upmost best for everything to be done in both English and Spanish. Before going we decided what excursions we would like to do. Being our first cruise and well into our 60's we thought it easier this way. We ended up cancelling the last excursion because we really felt that they were way too expensive for what we got. On the first excursion in rome the guide was excellent, however on the second in Florence the guide had absolutely no idea what anything was and had to keep asking the coach driver! Next time we'll do it ourselves. Our favourite port was Valencia. After reading other reviews on this page claiming that Valencia is just a cargo port they couldn't be more wrong. It's true that the ship docks a fair way from the tourist port (due to her sheer size) but if you make an effort to get off the ship there are buses which take you into the city or to the wonderful beach area just a five minute bus ride away. The city is a mix of the old and the new. It has the most spectacular modern architecture we have ever seen at the City of Arts and Science. The historic part of the city is extremely charming and despite being a Sunday there was lots going on. It's certainly a city where I would like to spend a few more days wondering thought the cobbled streets and sampling paella. The beach was lovely, lined with great paella restaurants- something which can't be missed. We had been to Rome before and given that the city is over an hours drive from the port decided to give this a miss and stay on board. The other ports were interesting too. Instead of going to Pisa we took a trip to Florence - lovely city and in Ajaccio relaxed on the lovely beach not far from the port area. I would recommend this cruise for any first timers like us. Getting on board was a breeze, the staff were more than welcoming, the food was great (Portofino's was delicious! well worth the extra and the ship was spotless and faultless in our eyes. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
This was mine and my husbands 5th cruise in 3 years. Having gone on about cruising so much,our 14 year old daughter and her friend decided they'd come and see what all the fuss was about!....and yes they loved every second of it!! ... Read More
This was mine and my husbands 5th cruise in 3 years. Having gone on about cruising so much,our 14 year old daughter and her friend decided they'd come and see what all the fuss was about!....and yes they loved every second of it!! We arrived at Malaga airport about 11am and were transported to the ship by the transfer bus. We were all checked in and on board the ship by 12.10pm. We went to our cabins just after 1pm to find our cases already outside. That just set the standard for the whole holiday. I wont go on to much but everything from the cabin attendant, the entertainment,the food and every member of staff we talked with were really friendly and efficient, noting being too much trouble for them. I would like to give a special mention to our 2 waiters, Swapnell and Sylvester in the Mozart dining room.I can't praise these guys enough. The service was first class, friendly and efficient. We usually only eat in the dining room 3 or 4 times, but because of the consistent service we received we dined every evening in the Mozart restaurant. So a huge thank you to you both for making this a most enjoyable cruise...we will definitely be back. Thanks again..Claire, Jimmy, Chloe and Kasia Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
We are not flush, but we've wanted to do a cruise for a while. So when I found Royal Caribbean's offer I thought we'd give it a whirl. After all, this was a fraction of the cost of a P&O cruise in a ship that looks on ... Read More
We are not flush, but we've wanted to do a cruise for a while. So when I found Royal Caribbean's offer I thought we'd give it a whirl. After all, this was a fraction of the cost of a P&O cruise in a ship that looks on paper or pixel far better than the Thomson vessels.We flew independently to Malaga and found our way from Malaga train station to the Port relatively easily. There's a rail link from the airport to downtown Malaga then a short taxi ride to the new terminal.Check in was quick, easy and efficient.When we got on board we found the ship to be very impressive. It's a massive ship, plenty of space and a lot of amenities. I'd done my homework so I knew where most things were and had an app on my phone with deck plans to help (nerd, I know).We were on a budget and so had taken a chance on an inside cabin. Yes, there is no natural light. But I can think of a lot of things to spend £200-£300 on other than a view of the sea. We found the cabin to be perfectly satisfactory.The ship had a lot of Spanish passengers who have a different culture which required a bit of tolerance from time to time. That said, any crowd requires tolerance in my view.AoS is in the Voyager class which is the third largest in the RCI fleet. It's about 10 years old but is in quite good knick and was clearly built well with quality finishings. The staff were friendly, courteous and efficient.The food was good to excellent. We mostly ate in the main dining room with service to avoid the throngs at the buffet and the temptation to overfill our plates.Booze was expensive. We smuggled a few small containers of wine aboard to use in our cabin. Use your loaf, they scan baggage so wine bottles will be spotted but not *every* container can be checked ;)We only got off in Civitavecchia and Ajaccio. We did an independent trip to Rome which worked out half the price of RCI's excursion. Use the net to but train tickets and then book a Green Bus tour from Rome Termini railway station but leave plenty of time to get back if the chaotic Italian train system goes titsup, as it nearly did on us.Ajaccio was nice. Straight off the ship and into town. Vive le France. A chance to but some more booze and have a dip in the Med on the town beach.Valencia by contrast was nothing much more than a second collect and depart for the ship - we were moored between tow container vessels in front of a car storage depot. Charming.AoS was big enough to cater to a wide variety of tastes, but I suspect the more traditional and upmarket of the cruising community would give it a miss. But then I don't think RCI is aiming at them. See sister line Celebrity if you want really posh.Would we go again? I think we'll stick with Royal Caribbean but probably not do the Western Med circuit again. When I think of some of the ports we could have visited instead of Valencia, for instance, the next cruise will need to go somewhere different.Lastly, do look out out for the cocktail of the day. A half price bargain. And keep an eye on your spending by looking at your account on your cabin TV, it stacks up quickly!! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
We chose this cruise as it sailed from Valencia where my daughter's Spanish friend lives, so she was able to have a room-mate for the cruise. Valencia is a beautiful city and we had a fabulous tour of the old town thanks to ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it sailed from Valencia where my daughter's Spanish friend lives, so she was able to have a room-mate for the cruise. Valencia is a beautiful city and we had a fabulous tour of the old town thanks to our Spanish friends and post cruise we took the opportunity to visit the City of Arts & Science complex which is stunning. This included a visit to Oceanagraphic, Europe's largest aquarium/dolphinarium which was excellent. Embarkation was much smoother than expected compared to previous reviews, quite a bit of hustle and bustle in the small terminal building, however fairly speedy boarding! Having sailed on the Navigator 3 times, we knew what to expect and despite the age of AOS (10 years) the public areas are very well maintained and not much sign of wear. The facilities on board this class of ship are excellent and ideal when you are travelling with teens (15 & 16 yrs old), however much to my disappointment, they did not want to join me rock climbing, ice skating or roller blading!!! However they really enjoyed the teen club and made lots of friends. It helped that my daughter is studying Spanish and had her Spanish friend with her, as there was an English/Spanish divide within the teen club, however I think we should be more tolerant of other nationalities when taking cruises from other countries - yes, the Spanish prefer to eat late and travel in large groups, however that's their culture and we should just respect and embrace our differences, not expect them to be English!! Our cabins were well located on deck 6, easy to get up and down to dining/entertainment areas on decks 4/5 and up to deck 11 for the pool without having to constantly use the lifts! Our stateroom attendants were fantastic and the cleanliness couldn't be faulted. Towel animals seem to have been reduced to just 3 per cruise now instead of daily, however we can live with that!! The dining room food and service was superb. We had my time dining and this gave us great flexibility and we were always seated immediately. There were plenty of tables for 2 for when the girls chose to eat in the Windjammer and at breakfast we had plenty of opportunity to meet and chat with other guests as we were usually put on larger tables. The breakfast service in the main dining room included the option of a buffet or a la carte, so we tried both and enjoyed them both! Johnny Rockets was great as usual and the Windjammer offered a vast selection so there was always something for everyone. The pizzas & cakes in Cafe Promenade also went down well! Entertainment was great and the ice show was the best we have ever seen! This is not to be missed!! We saw a few of the theatre shows and the Cruise Director and his staff did a great job keeping both the Spanish & English majorities entertained and spoke fluently in both languages. There was also a white themed pool party and midnight buffet on top deck halfway through the cruise and a captains champagne reception in the promenade, both of which were great. The one disappointment was the cost of the drinks. We found that the prices had increased this year and then on top of the usual 15% service charge there is a further Spanish tax added so a beer and a baileys cost us $20 a round! Fortunately we are not big drinkers otherwise our bill would have been huge at the end of the cruise!! However it's worth checking your bill carefully as we found we had been charged $50 for 2 pool towels, however they happily took this off when I offered them to check our cases! They also charged for a minibar purchase when we hadn't so much as opened the fridge and the 'free' internet coupon courtesy of crown & anchor had not been taken off the bill, however all sorted once brought to their attention, but it does make you wonder how many people end up paying for things like this if they don't check their bill!!! All in all, we had a fantastic time, the weather was great, the service was excellent and the food was superb - we enjoyed it so much we booked next year's cruise onboard! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
Every year we have the dilemma of where to go on vacation, that would please a growing pre-teen (11yr old) and her Dad respectively. Last year we went to Florida with family (grandparents) but this year we wanted to do something just by ... Read More
Every year we have the dilemma of where to go on vacation, that would please a growing pre-teen (11yr old) and her Dad respectively. Last year we went to Florida with family (grandparents) but this year we wanted to do something just by ourselves (Father/Daughter). Actually my ex-wife suggested a cruise (vested interest in our daughter's enjoyment!) So I looked into a shorter cruise (7 days) and the RCCI Western Med was just the right length with interesting destinations sailing from Malaga. Flew to Malaga, where we boarded the magnificent Adventure of the Seas, which stood out in the port. Boarding was relatively straightforward with hardly any wait. We were offered drinks to cool off and the kids club were at hand to register all kids into their respective clubs. Luggage was taken onboard and we received it outside our staterooms, a few hours later. We headed straight for our room, 8597 a Promenade Stateroom. We had a fairly large room with twin beds and 2 mini sofas. There was ample storage space, adequate toilet and shower facilities. TV facilities were old (CRT!) but at least ALL new films were free as they were testing new system! Feeling hungry, we headed for the buffet service. The self serve buffet Windjammer was crowded but then it would be with all the passengers embarking during the afternoon. The selection was plentiful and would tide us by until dinner time; after 630pm (my time dining option for flexible eating). There we already peeps on the swimming deck, deck 11 (since they had joined previously from Valencia), same as Windjammer. We then explored all the areas of the ship as an orientation for both of us. Spa, sports/gym, swimming pools, dining rooms, library, Internet cafe, 50s cafe, Royal promenade and shops, arcade, basketball/sports court, rock climbing, Casino Royale, kids club, theatre, screening room, a gallery and ice skating (studio b) before I required a Cuba libre or 2! Then we visited the nightclub and chapel, 2 separate areas! We got back to dress for dinner which was causal on 1st day and quite timely our luggage arrived. So we unpacked, dressed and headed for our allocated Dining room; Mozart (1 of 3). They we were seated with English speaking passengers, your choice or you can even sit alone. These would be the same people we would usually sit with. There is a separate more intimate restaurant called Portofino, Italian; which was also very good for a small cover charge. Kids would love the 50s diner; Johnny Rockets. About half the passengers were Spanish, which was not a problem as you realise it did dock at Malaga (big clue). The majority were pleasant and we NEVER had any problems. Both of us conversed and actually found their culture totally acceptable. I've read a few reviews here complaining about Spanish rudeness, let me tell you a lot of British peeps are even ruder and stuck up! Moaning about nothing!(I'm British but not in this category). The remaining passengers Inc Irish, Scottish, Portuguese, American and South American Chinese and Japanese. The ship supplies a daily newsletter called "Cruise Compass" which details EVERYTHING onboard in terms of dining, events, activities and excursions. Humorous ship events included Worlds Sexiest Man, Best Beer belly comp, Fastest Rock Climber, Best Dancer, Ship Treasure hunt, Casino Intro etc.... Here is a summary of Shore excursions and theatre events (everyday!):- Day 1: Embarkation/Cruising: Theatre: Comedy/Acrobats; Jose and Anita: Very Good! Day2: Valencia: Beautiful city. We had been before, so we went on the San Jose Caves tour. A short boat journey within the mysterious and illuminating, winding waterways. Theatre: Beatle Maniacs (tribute band): Excellent Day3: Cruising: Theatre: Cool Art: Hot Ice show in Studio B: Excellent! Day4: Rome (Civitavecchia: Old town): Theatre: Day5: Genoa: Theatre: Jackpot show: Excellent Las Vegas inspired show. Day6: Livorno for Florence or Pisa. Theatre: Maestraza Spanish Flamenco show: Excellent Day7: Cruising: Theatre: Los Gauchos Day8: Malaga (back to dock, but we headed for Granada for 4 days to extend hols: very easy by bus: 2hrs) I was disappointed that the ship did not stop at Corsica on Day 6 and had to re-schedule the port and time ashore (we got differing views on reasons why). Hence we could not go to both Florence AND Pisa (or Corsica). However Royal Caribbean did give everyone $150 for their discomfort.Some compensation, but I would not be in a rush to revisit Italy again just for Pisa (for Daughters sake) or Corsica. My daughter made many new friends around the world (which should be encouraged rather than being reserved) within the kids clubs, She wrote down at least 10 email addresses, some of which she has already written to already! The kids clubs were professionally run and ran 3 times a day for 3 hours. It seemed (like my daughter) kids could'nt wait to attend allowing for adult "me-me" time. On cruise days, the ships entertainment staff made many suggestions to keep everyone occupied. Most were great. I would have loved to go on a ship's tour but with only 15 spaces and $150 each, I said hasta la vista baby! Summary: The overall experience was a pleasant surprise. The food was impressive and well stocked. Drinks were not overtly expensive (Rum and Coke: $7.07 with Spanish tax). Bottle of Wine: $34 which can be kept for week/in room corked. The ship's facilities were great and really suit a family experience. Being Single, I thought I may feel odd and although I didn't frequent the nightclubs or certain activities, I was suitably entertained, occupied and content. My daughter was very happy and the RC staff were really friendly and generally everyone was having a great time from bubbas to Grandparents. ;o) Would I go on another Cruise? Yes, Indeed!!! (But will need to diet for a month! or risk being airlifted of the ship!!) I thought Adventure of the Seas was a big ship until I saw the Oasis/Allure of the Seas....nearly double the size!!! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
Adventure of the Seas, Malaga 16-23 July The largest vessels we have previously been on had some 30 passengers, so it would be an experience as to what sailing with some 3,598 others would be like on Royal Caribbean's Adventure ... Read More
Adventure of the Seas, Malaga 16-23 July The largest vessels we have previously been on had some 30 passengers, so it would be an experience as to what sailing with some 3,598 others would be like on Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas. We live in Malaga and it seemed a convenient way of visiting Rome, Florence and Ajaccio in Corsica. No flights to organise, no hanging about in airports and less than an hour's drive to the port. On the Saturday boarding was very quick and efficient and our owner's suite on the 10th deck was more than ample for our needs. There were eight elevators forward and eight aft giving access to all of the decks and a Royal Promenade on deck 5, lined with shops and cafes, creating all of the hustle and bustle of a city street. We were in time for lunch and the only restaurant that was open was the Windjammer. The jostling and difficulty in finding a table in what is a very, very large self service restaurant was an experience not to be forgotten. Spaniards are considered to be the second noisiest people in the world and our shipmates were no exception. Lesson one learnt. An invitation to the Concierge Club lounge to enjoy the complimentary champagne and hors d'oeuvres from 6.30pm onwards saved the day after the awful lunch experience and this became an evening event for the duration of the cruise. We enjoyed the special attention from our Concierge, Reshma, who explained that there were five dining rooms which were available for dinner. Our travel agent had not advised us about My Time Dining and having read a review we had chosen the second sitting at the Mozart at 9.30pm as an alternative to the rather early 6.30pm. Our lunchtime experience was almost equalled in the evening by the line of jostling Spaniards who practically stampeded when the Mozart dining room was opened. As our choice of cabin entitled us to gold sea-pass cards, we were immediately escorted to a rather nice table for two in an otherwise very packed restaurant. The three main dinner restaurants are on different decks and the Mozart looked down on the other two. Dinner was fine and the service was very good, but even though it was now nearly eleven in the evening there were a lot of children. Spaniards like to dine late and we left them to it. We had departed Malaga on Saturday evening and arrived at Valencia at noon the next day. The dock is 15 minutes from the town and a fleet of coaches had been laid on. As with everything else on this cruise, apart from your meals, this is an extra expense. I had wondered why the ship stopped at Valencia as, although it is a very nice city almost everything is closed on Sunday and it lacks the character, interesting architecture and culture of Barcelona or Palma de Mallorca. The answer was simple; some passengers disembarked and some joined the cruise in Valencia but it was a waste of a port of call for the passengers who boarded in Malaga. That evening we spoke to our concierge in the peace and tranquillity of the Concierge lounge whilst sipping more champagne and attended to by our excellent Portuguese and Indian waiters. Reshma explained that My Time Dining could have been booked at the time of our reservation and, although she would try, in all probability it would now be fully booked. I am not sure if the description of MTD is correct. For example booking a table at 8.30 might be possible, but it needs further research. To cut a long story short she suggested that we arrive at the dining room at 9.10 pm, to avoid the crowd, show our gold card and the waiter would escort us to our reserved table early. Frankly we were not up to a repeat of the previous evening and decided to opt for the Italian restaurant, Portofino, which is a small quiet restaurant completely separated from the main dining rooms with its own kitchen and staff and it is well worth the extra charge of twenty dollars. Once seated, we saw the Captain and the first Officer having dinner and we knew that we had come to the right place. The meal was excellent and way beyond our expectations, as was the service. Now we had found somewhere to dine and relax and enjoy dinner for the rest of the cruise, Om Monday we were at sea en route for Civitavecchia in Italy. We headed for the Windjammer for breakfast but it seemed as though every single passenger onboard had descended on this restaurant at the same time so we beat a hasty retreat deciding that we would rather fast until lunchtime than try to compete with starving Spaniards all foraging for food and a table. It was a madhouse. We later found out that for Royal Suite, Owners Suite, Grand Suite and the Royal family Suite we were treated as VIPs and that we could breakfast a la carte in the tranquillity of La Notte, an annexe of the Vivaldi restaurant, on deck three. For the rest of the cruise we breakfasted there and it was a very pleasant experience. Our baptism by fire now over we were getting to grips with maintaining a degree of civilised dining amongst the better part of three and a half thousand people. For lunch we made sure that we were at the Vivaldi restaurant no later than 1.30 and it was also an enjoyable a la carte or buffet meal, although twice we had to insist on a table for two otherwise we would have been seated at a large table with eight or ten people. As the restaurant was empty at the time, I can only presume that grouping like that was to save the waiters changing more tablecloths! At sea, the pool deck was a mass of humanity. It amazed us that, even on a ship of over 1,000 feet, public areas could become so crowded. There is a small pool towards the bows reserved for adults and that is a little more civilised in relation the amount of human flesh you can compress into a given area. There is a reserved play and adventure area at the stern of the ship for children between the ages of 12 to 17. We were now becoming accustomed to the complimentary champagne and the pampering of the quiet Concierge lounge before dining. All but two nights were informal wear but choosing not to wear a dinner suit/fancy dress I donned a jacket and tie for the formal evenings. By Tuesday we had breakfast figured. Our gold cards allowed us into the quiet La Notte restaurant on deck three where we could choose from a la Carte or buffet for breakfast. Alternatively we could have chosen a Continental breakfast in the Concierge lounge. From the trips offered we chose th  bus tour of Rome which allowed us to see the most important historical sites with no walking. We had an hour of free time in the Vatican City to admire the magnificent St.Peter's square and Basilica. It was a most enjoyable day in the Eternal City. On Wednesday we chose the Taste of Florence tour. We walked through the streets with a guide leading the way. Florence is like an open-air museum with Palaces, Piazzas and churches at every turn. Our guide described the works of Michelangelo, Michelozzo and Bunelleschi and others as we strolled through the narrow streets. We arrived in Ajaccio early on Thursday morning and took a trip into the mountainous interior of the island. As the coach climbed high into the mountains on a road that, at times, was little wider than the bus, the views were stunning. The fragrance of the dense forest, wild flowers, herbs and lavender gives the air of Corsica a unique magical perfume of its own. When we reached Cricheto pass at 875m high, we continued our journey by a small wheeled train, with the driver's dog running in front leading the way. The train took us even higher to a breathtaking view of the gorges and lake. The drive back to Ajaccio, by coach, was not for the faint-hearted as we wound our way down the amazing Prunelli Gorges where deep granite cliffs plunged down to the river far below. Thursday was a night at sea with a murder mystery dinner show. Friday at sea. We docked in Malaga at 6 am Saturday morning and we had time for breakfast before leaving the ship at 9 am. Our bags were waiting on the docks. Only a ship the size of Adventure of the Seas can offer passengers such a vast variety of facilities and entertainment. The downside is that this requires a very large amount of passengers to offset the cost of running such a vessel. RCI tries to accommodate everyone on board, and I think that the compromise works reasonably well and, with a little fine tuning, we enjoyed ourselves. It was obvious that Royal Caribbean treat their staff well as everyone I spoke to, from a deckhand to the Captain, came across as being very genuinely happy in their job. No lip service here. Tip. Take your jacket, etc, aboard with you in a hanging wardrobe as it takes several hours for your bags to be delivered to your cabin and there are no ironing facilities. Same for disembarking as your bags are collected at 7pm the evening before and you will require something in your hand to carry your clothes from the previous evening and toiletries. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
Just back from a a 7 day cruise aboard the Adventure of the Seas. We departed from Malaga on the 2 July and visited Valencia, Citavecchia (the port of call for Rome), Livorno (Pisa/Florence) and Corsica. Overall the cruise was good. ... Read More
Just back from a a 7 day cruise aboard the Adventure of the Seas. We departed from Malaga on the 2 July and visited Valencia, Citavecchia (the port of call for Rome), Livorno (Pisa/Florence) and Corsica. Overall the cruise was good. Our inside state rooms were of a good size and there was no noise from the cabins either side of us. The cabins were spotlessly clean with plenty of storage. The food was good but not fabulous however there was plenty of it and a wide variety to choose from. It is not always easy to get a seat in the Windjammer so be prepared to wander around for a bit. The onboard entertainment was excellent especially the theatre shows, and what a theatre! The most opulent theatre I have ever seen, absolutely outstanding. Now for the nitty gritty. Be prepared for many, many unexpected extras! The RCI seem to get the furthest away berth in the ports of call (Corsica being the exception) - This means that you have to take the shuttle bus to the port gates or into the town itself. THESE BUSES ARE NOT FREE! So expect to pay an average of 80 euros (family of 4) for the week. Also, Rome itself is at least an hour away by train from the port of Citavecchia so the time in Rome is very limited (we only had enough time for a 2 hour tour bus ride and an ice cream!). Drinks packages - I purchased 2 adult soda packages and a 12 bottle wine package as I thought it would be relatively good value however you cannot have your wine any other place but in the dining room/Windjammer Cafe or as room service. Therefore if you fancied a bottle of wine during the course of the afternoon say up on the pool deck or down in the bars on the Promenade Deck you had to stump up for another bottle or drink something else (alcohol is very expensive aboard this boat. Likewise for the soda package in some areas. Gratuities/tips - Be aware that on the Wednesday night you will receive a letter through your door advising you that it is customary to tip everyman and their dog! They then proceed to tell you how much is customary i.e. how much you should tip each person and this amount is per person, per day! If I followed their advice I would have been £340 for the four of us for the week! as my kids are teenagers and therefore had their own cabin. This is an extortionate amount of money as when looking at your receipts you notice that you are paying gratuities whenever you purchase a drink or snack etc. All this aside the boat is beautiful and most of the staff were very helpful although there were some exceptions! We did not have the experience we hoped for and this was a direct result of the attitude and actions of the Spanish guests aboard. I can say in all honesty that they were amongst the rudest people I have come across in my entire life. They are aggressive, rude, surly and very loud! They barge into the elevators without waiting for people to get off, they do not remove back packs in order to create more room in the elevators, they cetainly do not move to allow you to get on the elevator (even if there are only 4 of them in there!), I was physically pushed out of the way by a Spanish lady as she made sure she was getting on the elevator regardless of the fact that we had been waiting there first. The Spanish children will sit on the staircase and block your path and no amount of requests for them to move will make them do so. Sometimes the attitude and behaviour of the Spanish made me quite distressed however by the end of the week we were laughing at their antics and their predictability. In short - would I recommend cruising - YES would I recommend Royal Caribbean - Definitely YES would I ever go through Spain again- NO CHANCE Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
The ship was lovely even though it really could do with reburbishment. The promenade was great and very lively. Drinks expensive though $5.75 for a vodka plus service and tax. The staff was best ever friendly helpful could not do enough ... Read More
The ship was lovely even though it really could do with reburbishment. The promenade was great and very lively. Drinks expensive though $5.75 for a vodka plus service and tax. The staff was best ever friendly helpful could not do enough apart from the waitress in portofino resturant who was rude and unhelpful. All the service staff were lovely. We went to one show it was the first night it was the worst show i have ever ever seen do not go. It consisted of three people walking up to the stage with hard hats on falling over chairs it was a disgrace my kids at two could have done better. Smoking was allowed in almost all places, this is good if you are a smoker but for me it was just to much (ex smoker) the casino was stuffy with smoke and the salsa bar also was smokey. Even though this bar was fantastic and very lively the dancers were great. Our state room was dated and needed refurishment. We had a great holiday we were with friends, the staff were the best ever nothing was a problem at all lovely and friendly. However the whole ships needs a refurbishment, it is tired. There is no air very claustrophic. Needed more lighting and better air conditioning. I do not normally moan but felt that this ship was definately NOT UP TO STANDARD and will be sending my pictures and complaints to Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
Myself and my Fiance (ages 23 and 27) went on our first cruise on the Adventure of the Seas. I really hope this was the first of many as we had an absolutely fantastic time. We flew from Dublin early on the Saturday morning and arrived ... Read More
Myself and my Fiance (ages 23 and 27) went on our first cruise on the Adventure of the Seas. I really hope this was the first of many as we had an absolutely fantastic time. We flew from Dublin early on the Saturday morning and arrived at Malaga port at around 11am, dropped off our bags, quickly checked in and embarked on what was to be our home for the next week. I was amazed at how many people there was around and yet check in was so efficient. It was great. Having spoken to many people who regularly go on cruises and people who have been on Adventure of the Seas before, we thought we knew what to expect. But if you have never been on a cruise before, nothing can prepare you for the feeling when you step on board the AOS. I was speechless (a first for me!!!) As our stateroom was not going to be ready until 1pm we went for a walk around the ship. The ship is bigger than I ever imagined. The amenities on it are endless. The sports area is great - wall climbing, basketball court, football area, mini golf and roller skating. The pool area is great - 2 decent size swimming pools and plenty of sun loungers. We only used the Solarium once, the Jacuzzi was really nice. There was a separate pool area for children if they wanted to go on slides. We only ever had problems getting loungers on the days we were at sea - this wasn't a huge problem as we always managed to find something in the end. There was a supposed rule that you weren't allowed reserve sun beds but from what I could see this wasn't enforced. We had breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer every day and it was superb. It really has something for everyone (and lots of it!). The later you left it to go for breakfast or lunch the harder it was to get a table. But this wasn't really much of an issue for us thankfully. We got our stateroom at around 1 and our luggage arrived shortly after this. We had an interior stateroom and we were quite happy with the size of it. We spent so little time in it that it didn't matter that we had no window or balcony. There was a tour of the ship at around 3pm but us being us we went to the wrong bar and missed the tour. After the safety drill there was a sail away party at the pool, this was great and the atmosphere was electric. When we received our sea pass card I noticed that our dining time was 6.45pm (I requested the late sitting). After speaking to the restaurant manager we decided that we would stick to the 6.45 dining time. Turns out we made the right decision. The early sitting was really relaxed and once you were there before 8 and left shortly after 9 they didn't mind. The late sitting was another story; the Spaniards travel in really large groups, are really loud and like eating late. So by getting our meal time changed we avoided the large crowds and were seated with 6 other people and got on really well with them all. We got to be really good friends with one particular couple so it worked out really well. We had our dinner in the main dining room every night so I can't comment on Portofino or the Windjammer. The food every night in the dining room was fantastic and the service was top dollar. Our waiter and assistant waiter were so nice and they make you feel like you were there only customer ever. We didn't go to any of the shows in the theatre. We forgot to get (free) tickets for the ice show and so didn't get to see it but we heard from others who didn't have tickets that they went down anyway and got to see it. They all were raving about it so I won't be missing it the next time! Most nights we just went to many of the different bars and pubs around the ship and there was only one night were we didn't end up in Jesters nightclub!! My favorite bar was the Blue Moon Jazz bar, were the band Take 4 were fantastic! The quizzes and Nintendo wii tournaments in the dog and duck were enjoyable and the adult quest game is not to be missed, great fun!! There are 2 formal nights on the ship and one night were you can dress in all white for the pool party. I don't think it's mandatory to dress for the formal or the white nights but we did and we enjoyed dressing up. The stops: Sunday -Valencia: We were very lazy and didn't get off. As said in other reviews we were told that as it was Sunday not many places were open. We spoke to a few people who did get off and they said it was a really beautiful city. Monday - at sea: This was my favorite day as my idea of a holiday is to lounge by the pool reading a book! The belly flop competition is not to be missed, great laughs to be had here. All of the activities by the pool are great entertainment. The Captains dinner was on Monday so we got all dressed up, had our picture taken with the captain and had plenty of free champagne! Tuesday - Rome: We didn't go on any of the ships excursions as we felt they were far too pricey. We got the free shuttle bus into Civitavecchia (looked like a nice little town) and paid 15euro return for the fast train into Rome. This train goes at around 9am and doesn't leave until 4.30. We didn't know that until we got to Rome so at around 2 when we were ready to go back to the ship we paid 4euro each to get the slow train back (think its 9euro return). Rome was beautiful; it's somewhere I have always wanted to go to but in 45degrees heat (at 10am for me it was a nightmare)! There were thousands of people around and we were too hot to queue for the Vatican and Colosseum. We did an open top bus around the city and this was enough for me. I would like to return to Rome in the low season for a few days though. Wednesday - Livorno/Pisa/Florence: It's fair to say we were exhausted from the previous day in Rome so we opted to stay in Livorno. We got the shuttle bus into the heart of Livorno (think it was $8 each). It's a really nice town with lots of shops and cafes. We found a lovely cafe in the main Piazza and got pizza and a nice cold Italian beer. We also did a nice bit of shopping. It was quite overcast that day but by the time we got back to the ship the sun was back out so we headed for the pool. I believe Pisa is a half hour bus journey and Florence is an hour away. The white party at the pool is not to be missed on Wednesday night, we propped the pool bar for the night and enjoyed the music. We actually joined in with the Spanish and did a bit of salsa dancing. Thursday - Corsica (Ajaccio): Ajaccio is the home of Napoleon Bonaparte. There is so much history in this town. We went around to all of the monuments of Napoleon and for 5euro you can go into his house. The beaches here are gorgeous. We didn't spend too much time in Ajaccio though as we were anxious to get back on the ship. The second formal night is on Thursday. Friday - At Sea: Friday was very busy, the pool area was packed. There was the world sexiest man competition; this was very cheesy but funny! Even though we had an early start the next day we rounded off our last night in Jesters. I haven't a bad word to say about any member of staff on the ship. Any we encountered were very helpful and friendly, in particular Lowell our stateroom attendant and Karim and Jose our waiters. Just a small note on the Spanish - I know it's in their culture to travel in large groups so it is to be expected that they are loud. But there was no excuse for them to be rude. Over half of the ship was Spanish and they thought they owned the place. In general the never moved out of the way, at elevators they all piled in before letting anyone off, even one night as I was coming out of a toilet cubicle one Spanish girl practically pushed me out of her way so she could get in. Culture or not, this is not acceptable but there was nothing we could do but get on with it. Any American, British, Irish etc person we met were very friendly and by the end of the holiday we had a great gang of friends. Having said all that we didn't let the rudeness of our fellow guests annoy us we had the best of times on AOS. I have no doubt that we will go on a cruise soon again. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
My husband and I are just back from a truly fantastic med cruise on the Adventure of the Seas! This was our 1st ever cruise and we were highly impressed with everything this ship and Royal Carribean had to offer. Seasoned travellers, we ... Read More
My husband and I are just back from a truly fantastic med cruise on the Adventure of the Seas! This was our 1st ever cruise and we were highly impressed with everything this ship and Royal Carribean had to offer. Seasoned travellers, we have high expectations regarding customer service, but I have to say that what we received was excellent, particularly in the main restaurant. The ship had something for us to do every day from the climbing wall to relaxing by the pool listening to the live music. The shows in the Lyric Theatre were mostly to a high standard apart from the variety act on the last night and the flamenco dancing which we didnt really enjoy. The themed 70s night on the Promenade was fantastic and we partied on in Jesters nightclub which again was brilliant. The casino was big enough to feel we were back in Vegas again and we actually came away with a profit! Boarding and disembarking at each of the ports was seamless and well done from a security perspective although the distance to get from the port to both Rome and Florence was a little too far. The price for organised excursions was ludicrously expensive but we always like to do our own thing anyway. Our cabin 8578 was clean, bright and airy and I'd definitely recommend getting a balcony as waking up in the morning to the sound of the ocean and having breakfast on your balcony on the day sea was lovely. Room service is free which was also a nice touch. All in all, I would highyl recommend this cruise as we felt we'd been away a lot longer than a week and totally chilled when we returned to Malaga. We then spent 4 nights in Marbella to extend the holiday before heading home and would recommend you do this given the chance. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
Boarding was excellent,quick and efficient. As we boarded at 11.30 and cabins were not available until 2pm we decided to do a tour of the ship. Adventure is clean and well looked after, but is in desperate need of a refit. Some of the ... Read More
Boarding was excellent,quick and efficient. As we boarded at 11.30 and cabins were not available until 2pm we decided to do a tour of the ship. Adventure is clean and well looked after, but is in desperate need of a refit. Some of the furniture and fixtures are tired, especially in the main restaurants. Our two cabins on deck 7 were lovely, no complaints at all. The main problems we experienced were due to the fact that everything on the ship is aimed at pleasing the Spanish guests. We knew, that sailing from Malaga would mean that the majority of guests would be Spanish, but we really felt like we were gatecrashing a summer fiesta! We ate on second sitting,and were never in the restaurant before 9.45pm. We were told that as Spanish people enjoy eating late,first sitting had been extended to allow guests to enter between 6.45 and 7.45! We received no food before 10pm. Food in the restaurant was average at best. We never got into the swimming pool as Spanish guests stand and chat in it. Same with Jacuzzis. If we were not on deck by 9am,it was impossible to find an empty sunbed.Very loud music played all day around the pools and in the windjammer buffet restaurant. Another major, major issue is smoking. There were cigarette butts all over the ship. Designated areas? supposed to be, but they were ignored.I have been led to believe by other cruise lines that smoking on ships is dangerous. Poor show Royal Caribbean, poor show. English guests beware, this ship is really Butlins at Sea for the Spanish. My advice would be to consider this very carefully before you book. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
Booked our cruise through cruise 118 - very efficient service. Flight with Easyjet was good - and check in at port was speedy on board the ship by 11am, couldnt check in to rooms until 1pm. We travelled in a party of 8 and noticed when ... Read More
Booked our cruise through cruise 118 - very efficient service. Flight with Easyjet was good - and check in at port was speedy on board the ship by 11am, couldnt check in to rooms until 1pm. We travelled in a party of 8 and noticed when we received our sea pass that we had been split up for our evening meal. We went into the dining room and asked if we could all be sat together - as there was quite a large queue to change sittings etc we left our details with the restaurant manager who successfully changed our table. The Windjammer (self service buffet restaurant) was good providing you went in early - any time after 10am for breakfast and 2pm for lunch you couldnt find an empty table - but for us it was no problem as we ate breakfast at 9am and lunch at 1pm so plenty of spaces. The food on board was good especially the beef/steak at evening meal - our waitress and assistant waiter were always polite and helpful. Ice show was good, a couple of the shows in the Lyric theatre were not up to standard. Drinks on board were quite expensive - given you had to add 8% tax and 15% gratuity. They recommend that you tip $11.65 a day - that is split between waiter.asst waiter/stateroom host/head waiter. Sport deck was good - climbing wall, skating, golf - none of which were too busy. The excursions were very expensive $224 to do a trip to Rome - we went on the train for 9 euro return. The promenade deck was perhaps my favourite place on the ship. Sitting having a coffee watching the world go by. We had a really good holiday - only thing that spoilt it was the Spanish guests and their very loud voices and inconsiderate manners (they should also be made to use the hand gel when going into the restaurants!!) - i think we should have been told that only 600 of the 3600 guests were from the UK. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
Having read the typical cruise review, I felt I needed to add our views to help prospective cruisers decide to try Adventure of the Seas. My friend and I returned to Adventure of the seas after a taster the year before and because the ... Read More
Having read the typical cruise review, I felt I needed to add our views to help prospective cruisers decide to try Adventure of the Seas. My friend and I returned to Adventure of the seas after a taster the year before and because the western med was such a fab list of ports. We had the pleasure of staying in a fab cabin near the library, with a balcony so we say every sunrise and sunset in style. We visited,Velencia,Rome, Florence, Pisa and Corsica and we met just fabulous friendly people both english, irish, spanish on our cruise. We were royally entertained every evening and we drank cocktails, champagne and saw topclass entertainment. We say staff going the extra mile to make our stay as wonderful as they could,we could not have asked for more. For Royal Carribean it is worth considering your drinks prices, people were buying lessin the bars and clubs and making the drinks go further because of the high cost, so from a commercial point of view, lowering the costs of drinks just a little will enable people to relax and enjoy your bars more. We had fantastic night out t the Murder Mystery and Johnie Rockets is not to be missed. IT was so good that I am returning again in September 2012 to do it all gain, in the same cabin and the same ports of call. I fell inlove with Italy and will Florence in particular. Thank you Royal Carribean it was outstanding. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
Just returned from our cruise with friends. From the Promenade deck which was fantastic with its array of shops and bars to Chinese parade and musical entertainment. The Casino was enormous, a pity that fees for poker tables were so high ... Read More
Just returned from our cruise with friends. From the Promenade deck which was fantastic with its array of shops and bars to Chinese parade and musical entertainment. The Casino was enormous, a pity that fees for poker tables were so high that nobody would play. Slots too were left unplayed. Smoking was allowed in here too which was sickening for non smokers. Maybe this also had an inpact of very low attendances. Theatre shows were very good but could be brought up to date. The rest of the facilities were great and we enjoyed them very much, a lot to do for all ages. The dining restaurant was great with superb food beautifully presented. The waiting staff were great and very efficient and happy. Food in the Windjammer could have been great too if it weren't for the fact that all hot food was cold and even after complaining to head waiter this was not addressed. Very disappointing. Our Superior balcony cabin on deck 10 was OK. Could do with a refit but always kept very clean. First time with a balcony and was disappointed that the balcony floor was wet with stagnant water in gutter. Fridge didn't work but was replaced immediately. Overall a very nice holiday and would have been better if it hadn't been for the extremely large number of Spaniards on board who went around in large groups, were ignorant and very noisy. Won't sail out of Malaga again. Reckon with the amount of children they had with them they must have got their holiday for free. But I guess one has to take the rough with the smooth but with approx 90% of Spanish n board we had to take more rough than smooth. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
I travelled on the Adventure of the Seas departing from Valencia. Booking experience: The booking experience was very good, I was particularly impressed with cruise.co.uk who I have never used before, but will certainly use again. ... Read More
I travelled on the Adventure of the Seas departing from Valencia. Booking experience: The booking experience was very good, I was particularly impressed with cruise.co.uk who I have never used before, but will certainly use again. Stuart my cruise consultant gave me the best price immediately when I called (other companies would quote high and you would have to negotiate prices/ discounts which I don't like) The fact cruise.co.uk offer the best price immediately was refreshing so I decided to book. My cruise from Valencia was a new thing Royal Caribbean were trying called 'inter porting'. This meant that the week cruise had two 'pick up' ports and ours was the second. Because of this, we were unable to prebook anything with the cruise line company before traveling (excursions, spa, drinks packages) which was a little annoying. I raised this with RC direct and they are 'working on it'. The Ship The ship is 10 years old, and apart from the slightly dated style in some areas, was immaculate. I found all public areas to be impressive and enjoyed the general ambiance. The promenade was impressive too! Dining/ Bars The dining and bars were generally good. I was most impressed with the main dining room (and feel this was better than the Portofino Restaurant (extra charge)). Our waiter Lynel and assistant waiter Georgie were outstanding. Their service was probably the best service we have ever experienced and made our dining experience extra special. Food was also consistently delicious. The champagne bar was nice (I recommend the flirtini!) Entertainment The entertainment was a little bit of a let down. Although the ice show and the murder mystery dinner were great, the ship didn't seem to have any big/ good shows. The guest act 'The Gauchos' were THE worst thing I have ever seen. If i had access to some rotten tomatoes, they WOULD have been thrown haha! The cabin I felt the cabin (although dated in decor) was immaculately clean and well maintained. Our cabin was number 1388 and was a 'restricted view'. The balcony was HUGE and had a metal girder in the middle. This is why it was classed as restricted view- but meant we had much more space and had two sun loungers, two chairs and a table. Really impressed with the space. Overall I would travel RCI again. I think next time I would try their newer ships or their Celebrity brand. Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2011
(A more detailed version of this letter went to Royal Caribbean's President, with a template response back that said they were sorry we were "disappointed", and that our issues were now "registered in their database. ... Read More
(A more detailed version of this letter went to Royal Caribbean's President, with a template response back that said they were sorry we were "disappointed", and that our issues were now "registered in their database. Not very helpful.)Our Mediterranean cruise on The Adventure of the Seas was miserable, absolutely and completely, and solely because of Royal Caribbean's service and facility limitations for infants and toddlers. Taking care of any 2-year old and 6-month old is difficult and time consuming. It's even more complicated outside the home, where the children are not familiar with the environment, and where parents do not have access to the household full of helpful items accumulated over time. We knew this beforehand. Nevertheless we were unprepared for the additional, stressful challenges and complications that Royal Caribbean created.The specific problems on the Adventure cruise included:1. Infant foodRoyal Caribbean provided no food for our 6-month old. The Adventure kitchen would not make any, and none was sold on board. All other problems might (might) have been tolerable if not for the persistent and relentless concerns we had about keeping our son nourished and healthy.This was a complete, unexpected, and appalling surprise. The galley on our previous Royal Caribbean cruise (on The Liberty of the Seas) was willing to puree food. That was an exceptionally simple solution, and it worked exceptionally well. We knew baby food was available on the Adventure if pre-ordered through the "Babies 2 Go" program, but that had been completely unnecessary on the Liberty cruise. Only when we arrived did we discover the new and unannounced policy explicitly forbidding the galley from using blenders for infants. Several crew confirmed this was a recent change. One of them said a previous infant passenger had an allergic reaction to food from a blender that had not been cleaned of the nuts it had previously chopped. Of course we understand and sympathize with such a concern, but the lack of accurate information and notification was disastrous.The Maitre d' on the Adventure said we should find a taxi and go to the nearest supermarket on land to buy baby food. He acknowledged this might not be a helpful suggestion since we were leaving port within the hour. Our next port was a day and a half away, after a day at sea. He thought baby food might be sold from the shops on board, but it was not.Our original intention had been to enjoy the ports of call as tourists. We ended up wandering around and looking for baby food. I'll note the Maitre d' was also incorrect in that baby food in Europe usually is not sold in supermarkets, but in pharmacies. That took us a few hours in our first port to figure out.The Maitre d' and our waiters genuinely tried to help. The kitchen boiled vegetables until they were very soft, and our waiter mashed them with a fork. The effort was insufficient since the food bits were still too large. We found and bought baby food only when we reached a port of call, at the end of the cruise's third day.2. Diaper changing stationsThe Adventure of the Seas had absolutely no diaper changing stations. None. The kinds of public changing stations we find everywhere on land were absent on the Adventure. When we asked crew where we could change our baby's diaper, they said we should return to our cabin. This made us feel exceptionally unwelcome in public areas. Furthermore, the Adventure of the Seas is a large vessel, so bringing our baby to/from our cabin (at the extreme end of the vessel) sometimes took a very, very long time.3. LaundryThe cost of laundry was prohibitive. This is a major concern since small children get their clothing dirty frequently, sometimes requiring two, three or more outfits per day.We knew ahead of time that Royal Caribbean's laundry services were expensive. The unpleasant surprise upon arrival was that Royal Caribbean makes no distinction between infant/toddler and adult clothing. The cost to launder an infant's tee shirt and jeans is the same as an adult's. We looked forward to the mid-cruise offer of a bag of laundry for $25, but when the offer arrived we found out it was limited to socks and underwear only.We are genuinely happy that Royal Caribbean has competitors in the leisure cruise market. Other cruise lines offer self-service laundry machines and dryers. We frequently pointed this out to other passengers.4. The infant crib was unusable. Royal Caribbean provided us with the frame of portable crib, but there was no pad or mattress on the hard base. Our cabin attendant folded a comforter in half and put it in the bottom as a replacement. He probably didn't know that infants can suffocate in plush comforters if they roll on to their stomachs. We had our baby sleep in our bed, and at night when he was with us we used only a single sheet on top.5. Playgrounds and play areas were off limits to children under three. The crew said parents could come in and borrow books and toys, but our children were not welcome. I understand safety issues when mixing children of varying ages, but the crew said access was off-limits even when other children were absent.6. Pools and fountains were also off limits to children under three. Swimming is one of the main activities of cruises, particularly during days at sea, and children love splashing around. Of course there are hygiene limitations and laws, but the Liberty offered a toddler fountain, making it seem callous that the Adventure had nothing at all.7. Royal Caribbean's "Royal Tots" program is dismal. On the Adventure it was limited to the "Fischer Price Play Hour", one hour per day in a card room with furniture pushed to the side, plus the possibility to borrow "a toy or two". This came to seem like a minimal and begrudging concession. One positive aspect was that we met the parents of other infants and toddlers, and used the Hour as a forum to compare notes.8. Babysitters are not available for infants less than one year old.9. The timing of dinner service was abysmal. The "early" seating began at 6:45pm, fifteen minutes before our children's normal bedtime. Given the variety of food venues on board, it was unreasonable to force us into the Windjammer cafe for nearly every meal. I'll also note that the Windjammer closed at 5:30pm, which left no food service whatsoever during our children's normal dinner time. The crew suggested room service, which was deeply resented since the lack of diaper changing stations meant we already were spending more time in our cabin than desired.10. The high fare for infants and toddlers is deplorable and unjustified. We paid the same amount for our 2-year old and 6-month old as others paid for teenagers. Remarkably and hypocritically, the web site states that such fares are not discounted because "Royal Caribbean cruise vacations offer so many special activities for children".Our horrible experience on Royal Caribbean might have been exacerbated by a unique coincidence of unlucky events and unfortunate circumstances. Some of the problems, however, were both endemic and systemic.In general I will discourage parents with infants and toddlers from your cruises. This contradicts the marketing that says Royal Caribbean is "a vacation the whole family can enjoy", but my experience emphatically demonstrates that the slogan is disingenuous.Let me end on a positive note, and say that I have only the highest compliments for the Royal Caribbean crew. They were sympathetic to all of our challenges and difficulties, and they provided help and assistance to the extent possible. Our cruise was truly miserable, but that was because of policies and decisions made above their level, not because of them.If the company provides anything, I'll keep track of it here:http://www.royalcaribbeanbabies.blogspot.com/ Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
Day One Embarkation in Malaga was not the quickest ever with queues to check in desks but was organised well so went quickly even though it took about an hour to get through the formalities, once on board at 1230pm our cabin was ... Read More
Day One Embarkation in Malaga was not the quickest ever with queues to check in desks but was organised well so went quickly even though it took about an hour to get through the formalities, once on board at 1230pm our cabin was ready, we settled in, and luggage was delivered after the Muster drill. The ship sailing from Malaga had 2000 Spanish people onboard so everything was in a multitude of languages, this did not spoil the cruise as you could check into a hotel and find many nationalities but this would not ruin your vacation, the only thing which was annoying was everything in two languages. Day Two We arrived in Valencia, this was also a port some guests had started their cruise from so there was a disembarkation process on this port of call too, we got off and took the shuttle bus into the town, chargeable $12 per person and walked about the city which was mostly shut down being a Sunday as we did not dock until 1200pm so it was Siesta time...we did find a market, a nice church and the salesmen from Ghana selling their fakes....they seem to be everywhere these days!! During dinner we were informed that for the next thirty hours we would be in heavy seas and 100km per hour winds as we headed east to Civitavecchia, this would be our day at sea. Day Three If anyone tells you a 137,000 ton ship will hardly move in rough seas is telling lies, it rocked, rolled, dived into waves, vomit bags were all over the ship for public use but luckily it did not affect us and we had a pleasant evening in The Portofino restaurant onboard, it is centrally located which does help a lot. The theatre production shows and ice shows were cancelled for the safety of the performers and deck loungers were strapped down, all pools and jacuzzis were emptied. Day Four Civitavecchia is located 1 hour and 40 minutes by road from Rome and having done the Vatican and city tour on a previous NCL cruise we walked into the small town, shuttle buses were provided as it was quite a walk but after what we had eaten we thought the exercise would be good, we were joined in port by Mariner of the Seas, Costa Atlantica and Sovereign ( ex sovereign of the seas RCCL) so all in all about 11,000 cruise passengers roaming Rome, Civitavecchia or just lounging on board. Day Five Livorno for Florence /Pisa but as we had doen both of these we took the shuttle bus into Livorno ( chargeable $8 per person) not really much going on here, weather once again great so grabbed a coffee and an ice cream before heading back for even more food. Day Six My favourite port, we had never been to Ajaccio before even though i work for the airlines and had flown in and out of the airport but never stayed over, the ship docks in the city centre so no shuttle buses which is refreshing, Corsica is also the home of Napoleon, there is a huge statue in his honor and his home is now a museum which is 7 euro per person to visit, quite interesting but a total tourist trap. The ships were charging for this tour and we found it all by foot with the help of a city map which is handed to you as you leave the ship by the local tourist board. We also found a beautiful beach and the sea was warm but having no costumes with us we just paddled our feet. The city boasted nice shops, restaurants, and attractions as well as great views and turquoise clear waters, a place i will visit again independently for a weekend Day Seven A quiet day at sea with not a sun bed to be had on deck, luckily all balconies on the left of the ship bask in the sun all day so we stayed on our own balcony in peace and quiet. Day Eight We left the ship at 0700, the earliest time possible and made our way to the airport, taxi charges Euro25-Euro30 for a single journey and if you try to barter they point out the bus so its a take it or leave it scenario and with flights to catch we just payed up and were at the airport within 15 minutes of leaving the port as it is very close. We loved the cruise, the storm did not bother us, the group Take4 in the Sky Bar are very entertaining, the ice show is worth a watch and the production shows are ok, great singers but same same as other cruise ships, nothing you would fo WOW over! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
Firstly the food was very good, with a great selection in WindJammer,Johnny Rockets ($4.95 cover charge pp)and Vivaldi Dining room. There was also the option to go to PortoFino but for $20 pp cover charge we didn't think it was worth ... Read More
Firstly the food was very good, with a great selection in WindJammer,Johnny Rockets ($4.95 cover charge pp)and Vivaldi Dining room. There was also the option to go to PortoFino but for $20 pp cover charge we didn't think it was worth the extra. The English theme pub (Dog & Duck) was amazing with friendly bar staff who remembered your name and drink order and engaging performer (Country & Western) The only downfall (if you are a non smoker) was the smell of smoke on your clothes the next day! All staff throughout the ship were friendly and helpful and couldn't seem to do enough for you. The major downfall was the extra charges: 15% service irregardless if service was good or not and this is charged even when you have paid your gratuities up front (which did not happen on a previous cruise to Bermuda) In addtion to this there was also a 8% Spanish VAT that was added on, so: 1 x Fosters beer 750 ml $6.95 + 56 cent tax + $1.04 service = total cost $8.55 My wife had her hair washed and blown in the salon, the price printed on the price list was around $47, when the bill was to be signed for, it came to $79 because my wife had long hair!! and then tax and grat. made it $97 and the stylist kept attempting to sell products and makeup (which made her feel uncomfortable). BIG WARNING: If you are going to book any trips check out the costs: IE ROME: Royal C.I. charge $89 pp for a return coach trip to Rome, we simply got the train for 9 Euro pp return and the ticket also gave free travel on the citie's Metro and buses. This all said, the ship was at full capacity but all of our needs were still met, in general it was a great cruise and holiday, party under the stars and the Captain's welcome was superb. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
Cruise Critic My wife and I have just returned from an RCL seven day Med cruise aboard Adventure of the Seas. We had a great time, the Adventure is a beautiful ship with the trademark RCL main street and our cabin was one of the best ... Read More
Cruise Critic My wife and I have just returned from an RCL seven day Med cruise aboard Adventure of the Seas. We had a great time, the Adventure is a beautiful ship with the trademark RCL main street and our cabin was one of the best we've encountered in nearly 20 years of cruising. Having been upgraded we took full advantage of the extra space a suite provides albeit with a very small and sheltered balcony. The food in the Mozart restaurant was stunning, no need to spend extra in the Portafina and 99% of the staff were warm, friendly and very efficient (amazing how the 1% can spoil a cruise but more of that later). The embarkation procedure was well organised, we didn't use the shore excursions but instead spent time in the spa which was excellent. The guest entertainers were great (a Motown tribute act and a troop of Flamenco dancers). The production shows were rather bland but special credit should go to all the sound and lighting technicians as the Ice Show and theatre shows were greatly enhanced by their skills. At the end of the cruise we'd both had a thoroughly enjoyable and relaxing time, and at a price we felt was good value for the initial out-lay. However we will probably not cruise with RCL again. Why? Firstly, there was an instruction in the daily paper (The Compass) for "no shorts" etc etc in the restaurant at dinner. It's a shame the rule is not upheld. Getting dressed up in evening wear is something we like to do - the atmosphere is somewhat then spoiled when sitting next to people in the restaurant wearing t-shirts, shorts and flip flops. This lack of 'observing the rules' was brought to a head (pun intended) on our last morning when a crew member in a very abrupt manner asked me to remove my hat at the breakfast buffet (no mention of head apparel in The Compass). However, the main reason for not returning to RCL is the ship's policy on smoking. Over the last few years we have found on many cruise ships a designated bar for smokers plus smoking permitted in the Casino (if gamblers want to risk their health as well as their money so be it). However on Adventure it was the other way around. One tiny bar for non-smokers (with no entertainment) and smoking allowed in all other areas (except thank goodness the restaurants and the theatre). We would have liked to enjoy the musicians in the many bars; this was impossible in the evening 'fog'. The dangers of passive smoking have been well documented and it seems RCL are now set on contributing to one of the world's most common causes of death. I don't think a life threatening disease can be caught by standing next to someone wearing a hat. On the other hand passengers, bar staff and entertainers are being asked to risk their health in an environment which is constantly being advertised as fun (cough), healthy (cough), relaxing (cough), full of sunshine (cough) and thoroughly enjoyable for everyone on board (cough cough). Come on RCL, the world's leading nations have got it right - smoking should be banned in public places. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
I am going to make two reviews for this cruise. One as an 'adult' couple travelling and the other one based on travelling with our children and grandchildren. Review 2 has already been published! Two years ago we took a 5 ... Read More
I am going to make two reviews for this cruise. One as an 'adult' couple travelling and the other one based on travelling with our children and grandchildren. Review 2 has already been published! Two years ago we took a 5 night Mediterranean cruise with RCI out of Malaga on the Navigator of the Seas. This time we did a 4 night short cruise to Portugal on Adventure of the Seas. I have to say how sorry I am to see the drop in standards and quality in such a short period. Embarkation was simple and well organised as last time and we were on board and having lunch in the Windjammer by 12.30. Ground staff at Mlaga port were very helpful. Disembarkation was equally good with my request for a later time being given with no problems at all. Cabins were ready by the time we had finished lunch so we went down to start unpacking. The suitcase hadn't arrived by quite late and despite asking several people and I eventually had to go and find it. I did this because everyone else in the party had theirs and I thought mine may have been left behind. Happily it hadn't. The cabin was fine and very clean and was well looked after during the cruise by our attendant. On arrival the balcony was all wet and the chairs and little table had not been dried so you couldn't sit out there whilst waiting for the cases. I didn't take shampoo, body lotions etc as last time these were supplied in the cabin - sadly no longer! The cabin steward was very nice and found some for me the next day. There would have been no problem to take my own had I known about it before. Also shame we only got 'towel animals' one night - I really liked that touch on the last cruise. The ship generally is in good condition and kept very clean. Lifts were always very busy so walked the stairs most of the time. As we were with the family we didn't get to see the shows but the ice show, which we all went to, was excellent (missed that on Navigator). Played in the casino one evening and broke even which was good. Spent some time in the lobby bar and danced a bit to Azucar Band which we enjoyed. Many of the areas on the ship are split into smoking on one side and no smoking on the other. This is something that some other reviewers may not be aware of. Whilst dancing on the no smoking area of the dance floor, two people with cigarettes in hand, came and started dancing. They were very quickly told by members of the band to move to the other section which was for smokers. I had no problems with cigarette smoke during the cruise (and I'm a very sensitive reformed non smoker!!) and it wasn't even too bad in the casino. The Spanish people on the cruise were very nice and certainly not rude or pushy. In fact the only time I was pushed a bit was in the Windjammer by a British lady. There was certainly no pushing or shoving in the lifts or anywhere else that I saw. Bearing in mind it was a Spanish bank holiday weekend and Halloween, the majority of people on the ship were probably Spanish. I loved the fact that dress codes were adhered to and on Formal night there was some very beautifully dressed people walking around and lots of people in amazing Halloween costumes (and I'm not just talking children here!!) For me the biggest disappointment was the food in the Main Dining Room. 2 years ago we came home raving about the food, how hot it always was, the quality, the choice, and the great service. Sadly the same could not be said on this cruise. The food was generally tepid, bland and choices were more limited. Some evenings we struggled to find something to order and ended up with the good old Sirloin steak standby. There was a beef dish each evening, which members of our table ordered on different evenings, which was basically the same dish with a different name. Very little fish options but must say the desserts were great. Did however miss the Baked Alaska on formal night dinner. Our waiter was actually a bit sad. He seemed to have problems with whatever we wanted to order if it had even the slightest deviation from the menu item. I actually decided in the end that maybe he just didn't understand English very well. Constantly reminding him of my daughter's seafood allergy seemed to confuse him. She also doesn't eat nuts -â€" which we told him -â€" and when the cheese cake arrived covered in nuts we asked him 'Are those nuts on top?' His reply was yes and then he just walked away!! No, 'Is there a problem, would you like something else or one without nuts!' On the plus side, Oscar his assistant, did everything possible to help us within his limited capacity. We had a 7 bottle wine package booked but it always took quite a while to get the previous night's unfinished bottle - once the waiter finally understood there should be some left or to get a new bottle to the table. Also there was only a buffet option in the Main Dining Room at lunch time which is a shame as I really believe you need a proper alternative to the Windjammer buffet which was always crazy busy. In the Windjammer the food was fairly standard buffet. Plenty of choice and nice desserts, but the floor staff were not very helpful and unless you wanted to buy drinks, didn't seemed very interested in anything you needed. On the disembarkation morning they had obviously run low on orange juice and actually served it watered down! Personally it would be better to have said 'sorry we've run out'. Last impressions, like first impressions are remembered. In general I would say that there were not too many happy and smiling crew members on this cruise. Although the staff at Guest Relations were always helpful and smiling, as was our cabin steward. Weather was lovely. General facilities and activities were plentiful with things to suite all ages and tastes. Appreciated the Crown and Anchor discount voucher book. We were docked overnight in Lisbon. The area where the ship docked was awful with no direction signs to the town centre. There was a RCI shuttle service into the centre which cost $6 each way, so if you were a family and wanted to go there both days...... There was a nicer docking area right near the main square (saw some other big ships there) and if RCI couldn't get docked there then the shuttle should either have been complimentary or at least 50% cheaper. It was also a long way away. We took a bus to the main square but decided to walk back and it took us 90 minutes! (just as well we like walking!). Our 3rd time back in Lisbon and have to say it's a very nice place visit. Gibraltar was better. Well signed for directions to town and just a 15 minute walk away. If this review sounds a bit negative it's because I believe if you're not honest the review serves no purpose. All in all, we had a really nice break away and I would not discount travelling on Adventure of the Seas again. Just that next time I would go with lower expectations. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
recent 4 day cruise from malaga to Lisbon on adventure of the seas,day 1 having stayed the previous evening at hotel trebol ,malaga,1star no frills ,take your own shower gel and shampoo,small clean room fab shower proper hairdryer nice ... Read More
recent 4 day cruise from malaga to Lisbon on adventure of the seas,day 1 having stayed the previous evening at hotel trebol ,malaga,1star no frills ,take your own shower gel and shampoo,small clean room fab shower proper hairdryer nice quiet and safe walking back at night . departure at malaga port so efficient ,booked in told our cabin would be available at 1.00pm this was at 11.30 so great,cabin was smaller than expected having been on ncl sun ,but clean and nice big window. Food all really nice and plentiful ,I found the portions in MD large when 3/4 courses offered and I didn't understand why they gave you cheese and crackers first? Entertainment ,there was a bun fight for the tickets to the ice show the first evening as there was only one evening show ,the others were whilst we were in port ,this meant we had to go to dinner early to catch the first show followed by the ice show,however as we walked out of the first show after about 20 mins (las gauchos,the backdrop showed him being presented to the queen at the royal variety she looked about 40 )ice show was fab.the next evening the only entertainment was a DVD ,harry potter cheapskate!other evenings dance shows mediocre at best Why standing room only ,I hear you ask ?because all other bars with any half decent musicians were chock-a-block and standing about on the shopping mall to watch parade not my idea of fun,still did,nt encounter too much of the smokers fog but that's maybe because they were all in those crowded bars would i recommend this ship NO! and how come every least expensive drink had sold out on first night that includes bottles of wine ,beer and champagne it became a game to us when approached by waiters to ask for less expensive drinks and when told they did,nt have to say no thanks then,I will not be forced in to paying more than I wish , in the pub i asked for 5 different beers b4 I finally got one I liked 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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