Review of 11-17-02 Sailing of Adventure of the Seas Itinerary.... Southern Caribbean Ports of call.... Aruba, Curacao, St. Martin, St. Thomas First off let me say that the following review is my opinion only, based on my cruise ... Read More
Review of 11-17-02 Sailing of Adventure of the Seas Itinerary.... Southern Caribbean Ports of call.... Aruba, Curacao, St. Martin, St. Thomas First off let me say that the following review is my opinion only, based on my cruise experience, your experience may differ. With that said, let's continue. This is our 3rd cruise vacation, 2nd on Royal Caribbean and 2nd cruise out of San Juan. Pre and post cruise stay: We had a pre and post cruise stay at the Wyndam Condado Plaza. This hotel is awesome. The pre cruise night stay we were upgraded to a suite. I think that this spoiled us! The room even had a 3 man Jacuzzi/hot tub. The post cruise stay was a regular room, but had a balcony that overlooked the ocean. This hotel is incredible, great pool with a swim-up bar, several hot tubs, onsite 24hr casino (for those of you that like to partake). There is a Tony Roma's restaurant that serves delicious ribs. The prices aren't too bad for hotel style food. I would stay at this place again if I were going out of San Juan. Embarkation: We left the hotel about 10:20 and arrived at the pier about 10:30. The cost for the cab was $12.00. There was a short line already waiting with about 20 people ahead of us. They won't let any in the building until 11:00 am, but it wasn't too unbearably hot outside. At 11:00 we were allowed to proceed, and there were pier workers that took your checked bags and stowed them on the luggage carts for delivery to your staterooms. The room we entered was very large and AIR CONDITIONED with about 500 or so chairs that you could sit on. There was also a nice table at the front with ice cold water or lemonade. They had several employees going down each row of chairs helping everyone get their cruise documents ready. We were only on our chairs about 15 minutes before they called us up to get our sea pass cards and check our passports. This was incredibly fast! The wife and I proceeded to our cabin to drop off our carry-on stuff and to change into our swimsuits, and then off to the pool! A total time of 45 minutes. When we sailed with Carnival out of Miami, we were in line 3 hours waiting to board the ship. This ship is so beautiful and HUGE! Everyone waiting in the building had they mouths wide open staring in awe of her! Food: Now let my say up front that I'm not a connoisseur of fine food or restaurants, but I would say that the food on this cruise was the best that I've had on my previous 2 cruises, with 1 of them being Carnival. The service was what I've come to expect from Royal Caribbean, excellent! The staff was friendly and accommodating. This is the first cruise that we've ever left a tip for the headwaiter. Big Al, as he was affectionately called, was attentive, spending time to talk to each every one of the passengers inquiring how he could help or perform any special need or service for them. We did not go to Portofino's. It's not that I've heard anything bad about them. In fact I've heard only rave reviews for the food and service. It's just that I am not the kind if person that would enjoy sitting down to a 3-3 ½ hour meal. I know that this is the norm for some people, but not me! Johnny Rockets is fun! The food is free, but the shakes cost extra...but they are sooo worth it! I managed to have 3 lunches there. Entertainment: We saw all the major shows in the Lyric Theater. While I would not rate the shows on par with Carnival, I felt that they were very entertaining and fun. The wife and I are not the late party animals that some cruisers are so I can not review the dance lounges are entertainers. I've heard that some of the shows did cater to the Latin flavor of the guests, but I can not vouch for this as being fact. I would like to say that I never had one bad experience with rudeness or shoving pushing etc. from the Latin passengers. There were over 3,000 thousand passengers on this cruise but I never felt crowded or overwhelmed at all. The only time that we noticed any large group was in between the dinner sittings when the guests would migrate to the promenade to wander up and down and visit the various shops and bars. There were several parades and shows done from the royal promenade area. Pools: The main pools are large, with plenty of room for everyone. There are 2 small hot tubs, which seat 8-10 people, and there are also 2 big covered hot tubs which could possibly seat 15-20 people each. There were lots of available lounge chairs, and saving of the chairs seemed to be no problem at all. What we really loved was the Solarium pool area! This was forward of the main pool and was for adults only. They have a pool deck crew who patrolled the area and strictly enforced the 'adults only in the pool' rules! There are also 2 of the large covered hot tubs in this area also. Shore Excursions: Now of course I can only review the trips that we took, but if any of you have any questions about any of these, please ask and I will attempt to answer them. Aruba: I did the 2-tank scuba dive with the on-board dive staff, Sea-Trek. But it was fun. The wife did the spa treatment for the early part of the day. We then rented a jeep and drove over to Eagle beach and spent a few hours enjoying the baby powder soft sand beach. How come the sand here is never hot? We then drove over to Palm Beach, and then visited the Natural Bridge area and then finally over to Baby Beach. Just a word of advice, there are NO street signs in Aruba so be careful and carry a map. Aruba is not very big so it's not hard to get around, just a little confusing at first. We took the sunset catamaran sail and am I glad we did! If you only take one excursion, make this one it! You leave from the pier at 5pm. Before the sun sets, and take a leisurely cruise down the coast. Beautiful scenery and lots of rum punch! Take your camera because the sunset is breathtaking! We then sailed back to the pier, but not before we passed alongside of the ship. That was a blast! We had the whole ship coming out to wave and cheer us on as we passed by. We finished up our stay in Aruba with a visit to where else, but Carlos and Charlie's. It's right on the pier, and only a 5-minute walk, or 20 minute crawl from the ship! It's not quite as big as the one in Cozumel, but it really gets jumping around 10-11pm at night. Just leave time to make it back to the ship! Curacao: Here the wife and I did the animal encounter dive at the Seaquarium. This was awesome and so much fun! You do not have to be certified divers for this since it is only in 12 feet of water. There give you a thorough briefing on the different type of fish and turtles that you will see. They also give you a bait box filled with sardines to feed the huge loggerhead sea turtles and sharks through holes in the Plexiglas. The rest of the dive area is a secluded bay in which you will encounter large quantities of stingrays and fish. My wife called the rays 'big 'ole puppy dogs' they are so tame and fun to pet! But be careful because they try and mooch all your sardines out of the bait box if you're not careful! If you do run out of fish, they will give you more, so don't worry about being too stingy with the fish. The shopping was fun and crossing the floating bridge is a blast! St. Martin/St. Maarten: Since we have been to Orient Beach before and seen all the naked 80-year-old people we care to see, we decided to take the Explorer Cruise & Grand Island tour. This was a nice easy trip. We started out by air-conditioned bus with guided tour from the pier and did a tour of Grand Case, Cul-de-Sac, and Orient Bay. There were several photo stops along the way and this gave us the opportunity to see both the French and the Dutch sides of the island and all the areas that we haven't seen before. We then boarded the double-decked catamaran Explorer for a nice cruise of Simpson Bay. This was a nice leisurely trip with lots of free flowing, yes you guessed, it RUM PUNCH! The boat stopped in Marigot where we had a chance to do some shopping and then re-board the bus for the trip back to the ship. If you're looking for an easy excursion this is it. St. Thomas: We opted to take the Catamaran sailing & snorkeling tour. This again was a good choice. There were only 12 of us on the catamaran King Kamehameha, and she was a blast to sail on. She is the fastest boat of the Buck Island group, which means you get to snorkel longer than the other boats. We went to Turtle Cove and got to see lots of fish and even a few green turtles grazing on the sea grass bottom. Just a word of caution though, there is a lot of fire coral on the bottom so be VERY careful not to brush up against any of it. After this we did the skyride up to Paradise Point to get some very nice photos of the ships at the pier. Of course the Adventure of the Seas kind of makes the rest seem small by comparison! The Adventure was in between the NCL Norwegian Sky and P&O Dawn Princess and we were the first to leave port a 5:30pm. All the passengers on the other 2 ships were outside to watch the largest cruise ship in the world pull out. Both the other 2 ships were saluting the Adventure with long blasts of their ships' horns and she returned the complement with blasts of her horn! It was a lot of fun and even the wait staff on the Dawn Princess formed a long chorus line and waved to us with their trays. As much fun as this was, it was kind of sad to know that this was going to be our last night onboard. Disembarkation: This also went rather smoothly considering that we had to get 3,000 people off before the next group could get on. They use the colored tag system and the people who had early flight departures got off in plenty of time to get to their flights. They had a trivia show and the Krooz Komics put on a little show for the rest of us that were in no hurry to get off the ship. It took us about 45 minutes to 1 hour to find our luggage and get through the customs line, not too bad considering the large group of people. The trick is not to get too stressed out and to allow things to just take their time. The Condado has a check-in time of 11:00 am, which makes it easy so you can get to the hotel early to use the pool and facilities to unwind from the cruise. I know that this is a long review and I've probably missed covering some areas, but if I can answer any questions about the Adventure of the Seas, I'd be more than happy to assist. Would I cruise out of San Juan again? Yes, any time. In fact the wife and I are considering taking this same ship and cruise again next year. Cruise Critic Party: The Cruise Critic party was a lot of fun. We had about 30 people show up. The party was on the 1st sea day before the main dinner sitting in the Imperial Lounge. The cruise staff was fantastic, providing nametags, green rubber bands to get in to this exclusive members only party, and hors d'oeuvres. We got to meet and greet one another and afterwards they got us together for a group photo. I am in the process of getting it scanned so that I can post it here. This board has been a great service to me. I hope that I can return the favor to some of you. Thanks... February, 2003 Read Less
This is an exceptional ship and I highly recommend to anyone to take a voyage on any one of the eagle class vessels. I am already booking another one! A little background I am 36 I went with my boyfriend (43) and two other couples. I ... Read More
This is an exceptional ship and I highly recommend to anyone to take a voyage on any one of the eagle class vessels. I am already booking another one! A little background I am 36 I went with my boyfriend (43) and two other couples. I have been on one other cruise and my boyfriend 5 others. For my parents this was their first cruise. They are in their 50's and his parents this was there 10th cruise. They are in there 70's. I was able to gain a unique prospective being with first timers and seasoned cruisers. We chose to do a day prior in San Juan since we are from New England and did not want any issues with weather on the 26th. We arrived in San Juan on the 25th and had reservations for The Water Club..It was right on the beach and the rooms were nice but I would not stay there again due to them penny pinching you to death and the rooms were pretty tiny. I think it was way overpriced at $109 per person per night. Just a note our transfers worked terrific from the airport to the hotel. The little fella at the airport immediately found us at the luggage terminal. Jan 26th embarkation day: We chose not to use the transfers since they would not pick us up until 1:00 pm and I thought it would be way too late due to the crowds at the terminal (I found out later I was right about that!) We got a taxi for all six of us for $20.00 and 8 pcs of luggage. We arrived at the terminal about 11:30. Check in was organized and pretty quick and we were on the ship by 12:30. We were told that there was a problem with debarkation and the rooms would not be ready until 1:00. Oh well just have to go munch at the Windjammer and tour the ship! Also ran run up to Portofinos for reservations! Luggage came real quick to the rooms. Tonight was a casual dress night. Main dining room food excellent. Service a little slow. Jan 27th at sea. We spent the day checking out the ship. We stayed away from the pool deck since it was pretty crazy. I spent some time in the casino. Got out tickets for Cool Art Hot Ice in Studio B for 5:00 that evening which was excellent show and shouldn't be missed! Tonight was a formal night and of course we dressed to the nines. Dinner was excellent. Service slow. My waiter and assistant waiter appeared to have some disagreement and were running around like crazy. Went to the show in the lyric and it was excellent. Jan 28th Aruba. Last year I had spent a week in Aruba and gone on the backcountry Jeep tour. Had so much fun I decided to do it again. We considered a rental jeep but felt we still did not know the island well enough and went with the security of the excursion. (I found out later on that some folks almost missed the ship due to getting lost in the jeep the rented) anyway I highly recommend this tour. It is rugged and you get filthy but it is a blast and scenery is breathtaking! Smart casual tonight. We opted to eat in the Windjammer since we wanted to eat quickly and get back ashore to check out the nightlife. Jan 29th Curacao. Slept in since I had one too many late nights with the shows and walking the decks into the wee hours of the morning. I love walking the decks at night it is so peaceful. Went into town and did some shopping. Not much to do here and the excursions didn't sound very interesting to us. Had dinner at Portofino's. Excellent service and food! Jan 30th At Sea. Spent time at the solarium which is beautiful. Chair hogs abound, no biggy. Plenty of other quiet places on the ship. Had a scalp and shoulder massage at the ship shape spa for $26.00 but bought $100.00 worth of product and they gave me the massage for free. Very relaxing. Yup then spent more time at the casino. Didn't win much but ran into quite a few people who did win so at least I knew there was a chance! Another formal night and captains gala. Main dining room food excellent... service very slow again. Just my observation but the waiter appears to be doing more running around than the bus boys! Jan 31st St Martin. Busy day! Spent the morning doing the Rhino Rider adventure. You ride around in little two-person boats thru the mega yacht marinas and on to Happy beach. Nice trip but they would not stop for pictures and when we got to the beach the guide had us tie off to his boat about 300 yards off shore in 30 feet water. I hadn't expected that and was not prepared to swim. I thought they would pull right up to the beach so we could walk around and so on. So a bunch of us winded up sitting on these little boats bobbing around getting seasick. If you did go into the water it was incredibly difficult to get back on the little boat. My boyfriends parents were in their 70's so it was out the question for them to go for a swim. When the people who did go for a swim came back they said the snorkeling was lousy and there was nothing to see. I won't do this one again. The second half of the day we sailed in the America's cup on the Canada II. Absolutely a blast and I highly recommend it. There is a gentleman on the island who buys up the America's cup boats that are no longer being raced and that's where these came from. One of the boats is the Stars and Stripes that won in 1987. I chose to take it easy on our sailing and be the bartender/time keeper. My boyfriend on the other hand was a main grinder and worked pretty hard but said he would still do it again. Anyway we won the race against the Stars and Stripes and had a blast doing it. Plus the guys who were our hosts were adorable and a lot of fun! Didn't have a chance to go shopping here but I will next time! I hear it was quite good! We chose to eat in the Windjammer tonight because there were a lot of shows this evening and with the slow service in the main dining room we were concerned about missing them. All shows superb! Feb 1st St Thomas We took the St Johns beach tour today. The tour was pretty good. We boarded the ferry that takes you over to St Johns. (Next time I am renting a jeep and will take the ferry over myself to explore the island.) Seating was at a premium on the ferry and lots of people got soaked before they even got to the island so make sure you sit on the leeward side (away from the wind). When you get to the island you take little tour trucks thru the hilly terrain (pretty spooky on some of those hills but fun!) The truck takes you to Trunk bay. We spent the afternoon lounging. (you get about 2 hours on the beach) We actually spent a little $$ at the snack bar. Hot dogs and burgers were surprising excellent! In the afternoon I did some shopping. Taxi drivers haunt you the whole time. Lots and lots of shops! Be careful there are some rip offs... shop around. If you find something for $20 in one shop there is a good chance the place down the street is cheaper! Once again we went to the Windjammer for dinner since we did not want to miss anything on our last night. Feb 2nd Debarkation day :-( We had an early flight to Boston for 10:40 am so the day before I had gotten priority tags from pursers desk (on my travel agent's advice) for my luggage and they came with a letter stating early departures meet in the Imperial lounge @ 7 am.. Pls note my parents went to get their tags and were told they didn't need them so I sent them back to the purser to demand them. When they did finally got their tags there was no letter accompanying them. Without the letter they would not have known to meet in the Imperial lounge for early debarkation and may have missed the flight! Anyway we all got there at 7 am and were off the ship by 7:45 and on our way to the airport. Very organized and quick debarkation! In conclusion. I was a bit surprised by the service in the main dining room but to the first timers like my parents they were content and enjoyed it immensely. To myself and my boyfriend's parents (the seasoned cruisers) we knew there was something amiss. Here are the comments from the rookies ( my parents ) on the overall ship and ports of call. Keep in the mind the farthest south they had ever gone was Florida! - Wow! Love Aruba! Definitely hooked on cruising now! Ship: spectacular / food: excellent / service: fair / entertainment: excellent / accommodations: excellent Comments from seasoned travelers (his parents) - Other ships will have a hard time measuring up. Adventure of the Seas is breathtaking! Ship: spectacular / food: very good / service: poor / entertainment: excellent / accommodations: excellent . A few notes from me... Not to be missed-- lunch at Johnny Rockets! Dinner at Portofino's! Cool Art Hot Ice! and the shows are spectacular in the lyric! April 2003 Read Less
7 Day Cruise Southern Caribbean on RCL's Adventure of the Sea. This was our 5th Cruise on Royal Caribbean and more than likely our last. Air arrangements through RCL was horrible. My wife and I were not allowed a seat assignment ... Read More
7 Day Cruise Southern Caribbean on RCL's Adventure of the Sea. This was our 5th Cruise on Royal Caribbean and more than likely our last. Air arrangements through RCL was horrible. My wife and I were not allowed a seat assignment on Delta Airlines for the Atlanta to San Juan leg of our flight despite calling 2 weeks in advance in an attempt to secure seat assignments. We ended up sitting apart for the 3 hour flight. Needless to say this got our vacation off on a bad note. There was no RCL Rep at the flight gate to direct us at the San Juan airport. The Ship is indeed beautiful and huge. Our deck 10 category B room was also beautiful but subject to the noise of midnight revelers on the top deck and creaking in the walls. Johnny Rockets Cafe was a complete bust. The food was stale, the service horrible, and the noise was incredibly loud. Entertainment in the beautiful showroom was good but the standard jokes associated with the Marriage game, Bingo, top 10 questions heard on a cruise, etc., have not changed in 4 years. Service in the Main Dining Room was superb and was the only real highlight of the trip along with the Promenade Street. Food was good but not extraordinary. This would be a good cruise for first time cruisers if RCL could improve air packages. Otherwise it is standard fare cattle call cruising on a BIG ship. May, 2003 Read Less
Ports of Call; Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten and St. Thomas. Deck #9 Room 9622 portside balcony (Bumpout) This was our second cruise with RCI. Our 1st was on the Enchantment of the Seas in the Western Caribbean. That was what got us ... Read More
Ports of Call; Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten and St. Thomas. Deck #9 Room 9622 portside balcony (Bumpout) This was our second cruise with RCI. Our 1st was on the Enchantment of the Seas in the Western Caribbean. That was what got us hooked a couple of years back. We had been planning this cruise for over a year. With the help of a great TA, who is also a very good friend. I shopped this trip and she was right on the money. She has never lead me wrong. We became good friends with our tablemates from our 1st cruise and have stayed in touch. So we planned this 2nd cruise together. They are from Minnesota. So when your cruise director says, "Don't worry about acting foolish you'll never see these people again" you never know what type of friendship you may be building while you are on vacation. We built up such a great relationship with Karen, Rick, Brain and Elizabeth that we just had to get together and do it again. We loved cruising so much that we talked our NASCAR friends into going with us on this cruise also. Needless to say Sherri and Dan are now hooked on cruising. This was their 1st but I don't believe it will be their last. What a vacation and great time we had! We all agreed we would do these ports of call and ship all over again! I have been reading all about these ports and this ship. I did put a lot of time into researching this trip. I read every review I could, both the good and bad. So this is my take on this ship and the ports of call. We left home on Feb.1 at 4:00 am and arrived at BWI at 7:00 am. When we left home it was raining, foggy and 34 degrees with snow still on the ground. We have been having a very cold winter in Maryland. We flew on American Airlines. The self-service at the airport sucked and we had to ask for help. Would not take our information. Everybody was helpful, so no problems. I was really afraid they were going to tell me my luggage was too heavy. What can I say with 2 girls and all they need to pack? Our 13-year-old daughter and myself. We girls need shoes to match every outfit. Anyway, no problems with the weight of our luggage. Security was not bad at all. No one in our group of 5 had to take off any shoes. Sherri and Dan live near us so we all drove together to the airport. Flight was a little late leaving by 20-25 minutes. Calculating weight. Oh no!!! I know it was my suite case with all our shoes. Arrived in San Juan at approx 2:40 pm. 85 degrees and overcast. Took about 20 minutes to get our luggage. Took taxi to Wyndham Condado Plaza for $25.50 for 5 of us and lots of luggage. Taxi driver spoke very little English. At Condado Plaza in about 15 minutes. It did take us about 30-35 minutes to check in. They were very busy. They did take my Wyndham By Request Number. I faxed it about 2 weeks prior. Room 722 on 7th floor Ocean View. Dan and Sherri were right next-door. Had wine, fruit and cheese waiting for us in our room. Beautiful view. We could see the Caribe Hilton looking out the balcony towards the left. Room was clean, sheets were clean, towels clean and bathroom was clean. The walk-in closet was bigger than the bathroom and had a safe. The room had blow dryers, safe and coffeemaker. The rooms need some renovation but for $75.00 through Priceline and took our WBR # we could not go wrong. I've stayed in worse and better but boy the view! I overheard the people standing in line behind us and they paid $199.00. Got things straight and went to see if Karen, Rick, Brian and Elizabeth had arrived. Perfect timing they were next in line to check in. Now they didn't except Karen's WBR #. She emailed it to them and they emailed back that because she got her room through Priceline they would not accept it. I walked up to the desk clerk with her and told him that she had forgotten her number and asked if he had anything available near us...guess what...he put her right next door. Being friendly and a smile always helps. Besides the fact that Sherri and I had already paid him a compliment on how well he smelled. Not only did he smell good he looked good too. We left our husbands with the luggage by the couches while us girls checked in....hey it worked!!! So while Karen and her gang checked out their room we checked out the hotel. Small beach area, swim up bar but closed around 5-6:00 pm. Salt water pool and pool overlooking the lagoon. 9 restaurants. Casino. After we all sat out on the outdoor patio and had a couple of drinks, we went to Tony Roma's Ribs. Food was O.K. Service a little slow. They were busy. After we ate Sherri and I scoped out the casino. They had a live band playing out side the casino in the bar. It was getting late and we knew we wanted to check out Old San Juan in the morning so we called it a night. San Juan Beautiful sunny morning. Ate breakfast at the hotel. It was high around $15.00-$18.00 for a buffet style breakfast. Went to El Morro fort. Cost $10.00 to be dropped off at the El Morro Fort by taxi. It cost $3.00 for adults and $2.00 for kids. Karen and her gang headed to the rain forest. Beautiful views from the fort. We could have left the guys there all day. They like history. Walked downtown, very narrow streets. Did a little shopping and looked at the birds in the plaza. They also had a band playing. We saw our ship when we were going back to the hotel to pick up our luggage. WOW!!!!! Checked out of the hotel at around 11:45 am and headed to the ship. $20.00 to the pier. Don't worry about taxis; they are all over the place. Just make sure you ask the price before you get in. Got to the pier at around 12:00 pm. Long line. We went through fast when that line started to move! No problems except Sherri could not find her license at first...we told her we would wave to her when we pulled out of port....(lol), Showed our papers, got our cruise cards and were off to the ship's store in the terminal. Bought Crown Royal at the ship store. Put in our carry on and did not have a problem. They did take booze from the ones that just left it in the store bag and ran it through the x-ray machine. It was lined up!! Even if they had taken it, it would have not been a problem, basically bought it because it was cheap! To those of you who have a problem with people bringing booze on the ship...don't worry we helped the ship out with our bar tab. My husband would fix a drink and sit on the balcony while us girls got ready for dinner then would fix one after dinner while we waited to go to a show. So we even brought a bottle back home with us. We were on the ship by 1:00 pm, so the line moved real fast and that including the time in the ships store before boarding. Got our pictures taken before going up the gangway. Put our cards in the check in machine had our picture taken for security and were off!!! This ship is BIG! Had to get our bearing straight! Found our rooms. Found out that we weren't sitting at the same dinner table...Oh No! Went down to the dinning room got it straight. 1st ones in line. Everybody at the same table, they original had Sherri and Dan at another table. We had main seating 6:00 pm because we had kids with us. No problems with main seating but if you had a problem on 2nd seating I was told by our headwaiter that it wasn't a table to be had. We checked out the ship and left the guys and my daughter to explore while Sherri and I went to do the spa tour. Sherri found out about the ship shape classes and signed up while I read what was available for massages. Purchased a coke card for our daughter $20.00 and a cocktail card for myself $39.00 plus 15% service charge. Never had a problem with this cocktail card. Imported Beer $3.75, domestic beer $2.75, Absolut Vodka $4.50, Canadian Club $4.50, Crown Royal $5.00 just to give you some indication as to what drinks cost. They always offer drinks of the day for $3.95. They no longer offer soda for free in the dinning room. The ship is so big, very clean for the most part although there was some worn spots on the carpet but who's looking at the carpet all the time? If you had around 3,000 people walking on you every week you'd be worn too. Somebody was always cleaning and shinning on something. Anyway, found Karen, Rick, Brain and Elizabeth. Rick was already by the pool. Their rooms were right next door to us and Sherri and Dan were across the hallway. They were on the starboard side of the ship also in a balcony room with the bump out. Everybody did get their entire luggage before dinner accept us, missing our big suitcase. No problem. I talked with Sherri and Dan's room steward and she said "Go as you are because everybody is waiting for luggage." It was causal night in the dinning room. So we went and we did not feel out of place because there were quite a few (majority) dressed in shorts and sandals. Met our waiter, assistant waiter (His 1st week) and our headwaiter. Came back from dinner and there was our last piece of luggage! Muster drill was at 8:15 pm, maybe took 20 minutes. After muster drill the guys went to play basketball, then we all went up to the pool for the sail away party. We left around 10:35 pm had to wait for 2 other ships to leave before us, Carnival and Costa. Roger went to the Royal Promenade on deck 5 to watch the parade. Lindsay was tired so we went to the cabin. I finished unpacking He said we missed a good parade. Sherri could not get her sea legs! Sea Day Watched the sun come up -- what a beautiful day. Ordered room service for coffee and juice. At the room in 4 minutes. I always give a tip for a couple of dollars and I always had room service in less than 5 minutes, just enough time to brush teeth and hair so I wouldn't scare anyone. Lindsay slept in. Roger and I sat on the balcony and drank coffee. Went and ate breakfast in the Windjammer. They have anything and everything you would want for breakfast. Somebody from our group also got omelets to order. Sherri went to ship shape class and a kickboxing class. Couldn't find Dan for a long time. Hung by the pool and had drinks. Roger and Lindsay went rock-climbing, in-line skating and played miniature golf. Dan did show up by the pool and found out fast that just because people are speaking a different language doesn't mean they can't understand what you are saying!!! I told Dan we needed to go get tickets for the "Cool Art Hot Ice" show but I couldn't remember what deck we needed to go to....This little sweet voice spoke up....the young lady sitting next to us speaking beautiful French, was in the ice show...she told us were we needed to go get tickets...ha ha Dan! She was very nice and nothing was said out of the way only how beautiful they were. So we carried on a conversation when we got back with the tickets. She was from Canada and her sister was visiting. Gave us some tips on places the staff goes while in port. By now all of our gang was around the pool. Watched the "Sexy Legs" contest. Boy, what those men will do to win!!! Make sure you wear lots of sunscreen. Went and had lunch at the Windjammer. The pool was busy but there were still plenty of chairs around just not on the main level by the pools. Saw flying fish. Went to cabin to get ready for dinner. Did finally meet our room steward, Katia from Costa Rica. Tonight was the formal night. Boy we all looked sharp. Got pictures taken. Went to our table. They changed our headwaiter! I had to ask what happened which did not make me happy because I had to ask. I am in management and run a tight ship in my office and know how important it is to keep our customers posted on any changes before they ask. With that said... our headwaiter came around just before desert and explained that another table had had our waiter on a past cruise and requested him again. Needless to say I had to put my two cents in on how it was handled. Amelia our headwaiter from Romania was very apologetic. I did feel like second best but it did not last for long. Deepak from India worked out great and didn't mind that we were always laughing and cutting up. I think he enjoyed us just as much as we enjoyed his service. Our assistant waiter was Zoltan from Hungary. This was his first week!! Boy did we break him in right! He would always ask, "Coffee, yes please". I think we made him feel very at ease on his 1st week because as the week went on he didn't seem to be as nervous. Amelia our headwaiter was very nice. I noticed she always seem to spend more time at our table talking with us and giving us tips on what to do in port the next day and asking what we did that day, Of course, Dan just had to get her to talk to him in Russian. That Dan. Desmond from St. Vincent was our bar steward. It didn't take long for him to have the type of beer my husband would drink already for him. Dan tried the shooter of the evening every night. He has the collection of shot glasses to prove it. I believe they all enjoyed us just as much as we enjoyed them. Our group always had a smile, was always laughing, thanked them at the end of the night and advised them "We'll be back". Saw Kenny James, he was a past "Star Search" winner. Boy, could he sing!!! Great show. He made the hair stand on my arms. Went to the Casino with Sherri. Had a good time. I lost $30.00 but did play for a while before I lost it. Dan and Lindsay went to the Arcade. Roger and Rick went to the Duck and Dog on the Royal Promenade. Roger said it was a good crowd with a great guitar player/singer. Sherri and I hooked up with Lindsay and Dan at the arcade. Went to Johnny Rockets. Great shakes. They cost $3.95 and always have a flavor of the day. Make sure you play the jukebox and make sure you play "Stayin Alive" by the BeeGees. I'm not going to tell you anything else! We set my husband up for a major laugh! Had the best time in Johnny Rockets, the staff is great. Aruba Rented jeeps. $80.00 for the day plus $15.00 for insurance. We had a hairy start!!! Please read the roadmap the clerks give you and just what their road signs stand for. Went down one way streets and streets we were not suppose to go down. This was self-inflected because we were suppose to turn left on L.G. Smith Boulevard and turned right because the traffic was heavy and we could not get across. For the 1st 15 minutes it was crazy. Three women in the back and 2 men up front with our friends following.....need to go into details? I will share this...Dan's head spun around 3 times, eyes bugged out and horns came out!!!! Got straight, had a great laugh about it allllll weeklong. Poor Dan was the driver and my husband was co-pilot. Went to the "Butterfly Farm" $10.00 dollars for adults and $3.00 for kids. Great stop!! We enjoyed this very much. Went to the beach right across the street, Palm Beach. We then headed out to the California Lighthouse for the views. Ordered pizza at the restaurant at the California Light house can't remember the name. Headed out around the north side of the island. This was fun. When they tell you don't go in the soft white dunes.... Don't...saw a few youngsters stuck! They did however get out. The views are amazing, rocks, cactus, desert like landscape, then the breaking waves on the coastline. You'll see all these rocks stacked up; make sure you do the same. It is suppose to bring good luck. Stopped by the Alto Vista Chapel, stopped by Bushiribana and headed towards the Natural Bridge. This ride was bumpy because you are on a dirt path but worth the ride. I'm glad we had A/C in our jeep. It was hot that day around 87 degrees. Headed back to the ship. A local tour guide that we talked with at the California Lighthouse told us that the mountain in the center of the island that is shaped like a haystack is a good point of reference for keeping you bearings straight. The guys agreed that they could go back and finish going the rest of the way around the island. After the Natural Bridge you have to go way up this steep hill/mountain to get to the Natural Pool. Us girls were chicken. Took the road back to the ship to get ready for dinner. Caribbean night for dinner. Saw the "Cool Art Hot Ice" show. Good show. Lindsay, Sherri and myself crashed and burned this night. Roger, Dan, Rick and Karen went to the Corona Beach Party by the pool. They said that was great. Missed "The Love and Marriage Game Show" but we watched it the next day on the ship's TV. Curacao Had breakfast in the Windjammer. Walked across the floating boat into town. Did a little shopping. Got a taxi for $3.00 each to the beach. $3.00 each to get into the beach and $3.00 to rent a chair. Started at a beach that started with a "T" walked a little down the beach and ended up at Mambo Beach. If you walk down the beach you'll end up at the Seaquarium. Karen, Rick and the kids went to the Sea Aquarium. I think she said it cost them $40.00 for 4 of them. They really seemed to like it. They found us planted on the beach after they got done at the Sea Aquarium. Once the guys seen the eye candy at this beach they threw their anchors over and that was that! You will see some topless bathers and thongs. We laughed at the guys all day! My daughter is 13 and I had explained to her that she may see these types of things and explained that different cultures live different lives than we do. She has always traveled with us so we can expose her to different cultures and different ways of living. She really didn't act too upset about it because as parents we explained this to her on a mature level. She spent most of the time in the water and hanging out with Brian and Elizabeth. I think I needed to have this talk with the guys. We ended up with a very young, attractive lady right next to us...topless. This beach is very nice and was not crowded. There is a rock and cement formation out away that your can climb up on and view the whole beach area. Over these rocks it is very choppy. This is a good beach for families. They have shade, bars, and restaurants, live music, bathrooms and changing areas. No problem to get a taxi back to town. Went back to town. Shopped some more, bought some Curacao liquor and headed back to the ship. Dinner was smart casual or 50's - 80's attire. Went to the "Velvet Rope" show. Very good but I did think it was a little loud but we were in the front. Went to " Rockin' Thru The Decades" Roger got on the ship's video doing the Electric Slide. They played "Win a Cruise Bingo" we didn't play. It was one game only. One card was $50.00. At Sea. Dan, Lindsay and myself went to the Spa and treated ourselves. Lindsay and I had room service because our appointments were at 8:00 am. Dan had his 1st massage, Lindsay had the "Teen Facial and Capsule Massage" I had the full body massage and facial. What a life! Roger went to play basketball. Went to Windjammer for a late breakfast. Went to the St. Maarten and St. Thomas port and shopping talk. Watched the men's' belly floppy contest. Roger, Karen, Rick the kids and myself hung by the pool and watched the Owner's Cup Horse Racing while Sherri, Dan and Lindsay Learned how to joggle with the Krooze Komics on the Royal Promenade and then they went to the towel folding class to learn how to make all those towel animals that they put in your cabin every night. Tonight was formal night in the dinning room. Some of us had 2 lobster tails for dinner, I won't name names. Went to see Comedian Tom Parks and laughed all night. Saw "Duality" before he came on. How do they do that stuff? Everybody crashed this night except Sherri, Dan and myself. Went to the casino. Sherri was on a roll for a while. We went to see the Gala Buffet, which I missed on my 1st cruise so I was determined to see this one. WOW!!!!! St. Maarten Carnival Spirit was docked right next to us. When we looked out our balcony, our ship kept going and going and going. AOS was massive compared to this ship. Ate at Windjammer for breakfast and headed to town. Road the water taxi to town from the ship. $5.00 per person for all day. Ladies, ladies, and ladies this is the place to shop and shop and shop. Just make sure you bargain! If you love jewelry this is a shopper haven. Hooked up with taxi driver for $5.00 each to Orient beach. He took us to the prude side of Orient beach. This beach is long and narrow because of the time of the year. You will see topless women even on the prude side. Went in front of 7 Continents Beach Bar. For $7.00 each we got a chair, umbrella and a rum punch. Boy that rum punch was great. There are some rocks right out in front in the water. Wear beach shoes or just go around the rocks. They wait on you all day. A cheeseburger, French fries with Cole Slaw was $6.50. If you go past Pedro's you will find the clothing optional side. Travel at your own risk!!! Sherri and I did. (lol) Sometimes these naturalists will find their way to the prude side. Saw 3 of them together, 2 men and 1 woman walking together. I think they do it for the shock value. My husband was not happy about that one because our daughter was with us. I don't even think she saw them. She was eating a Cheeseburger. All types of beach bars and snack shops up and down this stretch of the beach. They also have jet skis, parasailing and a water trampoline. We gave our taxi driver the time we wanted to be picked up and he came back and got us. There are taxi drivers all around. If you do not see one just tell the bar waiters and they will get one for you. I spent some time talking with George our waiter about the island. They call St. Maarten "Devils Island." No drinking age limit, not a lot of police, if you get caught with marijuana they let you go, and nudity is accepted. If you stop by 7 Continents Beach Bar tell him you heard about the place from the group with the "Tall, white, hairy man wearing the pink neon shorts". Our taxi driver took us back to town for more shopping. Bought some Guavaberry liquor to take back home from the Guavaberry Emporium. $12.95 for a bottle. You can try samples right at the store. Took the water taxi back to the ship. Casual attire for dinner. Went and saw the "Can't Stop the Rock" show. St. Thomas Went through immigration without any problems. Arrived at 7:35 am. It took us longer to walk around the dinning room. We had I.Ds, ship card and birth certificates. They asked us were we were born and that was that. Never really had to show anything even though I had everything in my hand. Received our gangway pass and we were off to breakfast. Got Off the ship and got a taxi to American Yacht Harbor Marina in Red Hook. I had booked us on a private sail and snorkel trip on The "Winifred" with Captain Sharon Allen and her 1st mate Andrea. This is a 43' wooden sailing vessel. We never touched one thing all day. They did everything for us. We tacked across Pillsbury Sound. Andrea even let my daughter help pull in the sail when we got close to the beach. Beautiful day for a sail. Saw the ferries taking cars and passengers over the St. John. Andrea pointed out the points of interest, Tortola, and the other islands. She was very informative. Anchored off the national park in a quite cove and we snorkeled to the beach area. Saw turtles, conch and stingray by the grass beds. Snorkeled over to the rocks by the beach and saw fish, coral, urchins, Roger even got to see a barracuda. They even have a pack of wild donkeys that were roaming on the beach! I couldn't believe my ears and eyes! The water is crystal clear. The beach and scenery is so beautiful. Had lunch on the boat that Andrea had prepared. It was very good, salad, chicken, rice, bread, drinks. Great Rum Punches! We touched nothing on this boat. They did everything for us. We loved this sail. Captain Sharon and Andrea are very accommodating and personable. Captain Sharon has been sailing for 22 years. She knows her stuff and loves her boat. We felt like the rich and famous. Took a taxi back to town. Did a little shopping and Lindsay got her hair braided. Watched two vendors get into a loud verbal fight over a parking space. Took at taxi back to the ship, which we could see from town for $3.00. Took a little longer getting Lindsay's hair braided. Didn't make it back to the ship until 5:15 pm. They were missing 7 people, 5 of which were us! Karen, Rick and the kids went to Megan's Bay. They liked this beach. Quite and peaceful. They sat in front of a snack bar were the waiters brought drinks right out in the water to you while you were floating on floaties. She said they enjoyed this beach. She bought a Tanzanite ring in St. Maarten and saw it at the same store in St. Thomas when she went to have it sized for less than what she had paid in St. Maarten. Karen was upset at dinner but she spoke with the shopping director, Daniel and plus the young lady in the store in St. Thomas gave her a business card and advised her what to do. When she got back, she called and explained the problem. She is now very happy and will be keeping the ring. They took care of the problem to her satisfaction! Casual night for dinner. Our last night in the dinning room....boohoo! Handed out tips and wished everyone well and thanked them for their great service. Went to see the "Farewell Spectacular Show" starring comedian Jimmy Carroll. Great show and lots of laughs. Had to start packing. How to fit all this stuff in this suitcase? Roger, Dan, and Karen went to play bingo. Some lady won over $4000.00! Put our luggage outside the door and walked around the ship one last time. Went back to Johnny Rockets. There is one lady that really sticks out in my mind, not that the rest of the staff isn't great, but she was an exceptional people person. "V' from Jamaica is a real asset to RCCL. She is going home for 2 months at the end of this week to be with her kids. She was very excited about going home. She was soooooo much fun to be around. Everything closes up around midnight so they can tally the damage you have done over the week. Your bill will be outside your door in the slot were your room number is. San Juan We all got up and had breakfast in the dinning room. This was a sad time for us. I even cried when I said my good-byes to Karen, Rick, Brain and Elizabeth. We are just going to have to plan another cruise together! Karen, Rick, Brain and Elizabeth went back to the Condado Plaza to hang out by the pool. She had already arranged this with the hotel. They had a flight time at around 2:00-2:30 pm. Sherri, Dan, Roger, Lindsay and myself had pre-booked the tour to go to the El Yungue Rain Forest. This was the only ship's tour we did all week. Met in the Imperial Lounge, found our luggage, cleared customs. Outside is very busy. Thank goodness our porter knew which truck our luggage went on and what line we were to stand in for this tour. We enjoyed the Rain Forest. Our guide was very good. The views are beautiful! Stopped for snacks and some last minute shopping and off to the airport. Our guide dropped us off right to our luggage. Checked in. I could not find Roger's I.D. Oh no, well just have to stay in PR!!! Found it, no extended vacation! Lots of security guards all over the place. Ate lunch, called home and played cards until flight time. Won't you know it; we sat right in front of a group with 5 small kids. One of which was not a happy camper all the way home. Thank goodness for headsets. Ate dinner and watched the in-flight movie. Roger halfway sleep. Sherri and Dan were a couple of rows behind us. Back at BWI and the real world. It's cold and I want to go back!!!!! This was an excellent vacation. This ship is beautiful and huge. Never felt like it was crowded. You can always find spots on the ship to be alone if you wanted to. We loved this ship and all the ports of call. Beautiful sights and friendly people. We have all agreed we would do this same vacation all over again in a heartbeat! I think Royal Caribbean does a great job. I know our family is completely satisfied with this cruise line. Right now RCI is 2 for 2 with us. I have read about people encountering rude Puerto Ricans on this ship. All I can say is this....if there was anybody rude on this ship whether they were Puerto Ricans or French or Germans or whatever...they were not on the same side of the ship as we were. Our group could strike up a conversation with anybody and we did. None of us had any bad experiences except, Dan with that towel monkey attack in the middle of the night!(LOL) We laughed so hard this week! Nothing but great times, great laughs and everlasting memories. We were very happy with everything from the food, to the service, to our rooms, to the ship, to the ports of calls. The only complaint is this; The week went by too fast! Just not enough hours to get to experience every single thing both on the ship and in the ports of call. We were very upset to hear about the Challenger tragedy. We didn't find out about it until Saturday morning. The El Morro in San Juan was flying the American flag at half mask. We didn't find out that we went to code "Orange" until Saturday when we saw a Navy ship anchored in the harbor. That did make us a little nervous. I wanted to share my cruise vacation with everyone because reading other cruisers reviews and comments has been a great help to me in all my planning. There is still a lot of bits and pieces about this vacation I have not included only because the length of this view. Please feel free to email me if you have any additional questions. I will answer them very honestly and openly the best to my ability. I saved all my compasses and maps on the different ports so even if I didn't do something or see something I may have some information on it. Enjoy your cruise!!!! May 2003 Read Less
First, a little about us. We are a 48 yr old married couple and this was our 8th cruise. First cruise was with the kids on the Big Red Boat and all the rest have been on RCI. We have considered other lines but we enjoy RCI so much that we ... Read More
First, a little about us. We are a 48 yr old married couple and this was our 8th cruise. First cruise was with the kids on the Big Red Boat and all the rest have been on RCI. We have considered other lines but we enjoy RCI so much that we are afraid we will be disappointed so we stay with what we like. Pre-Cruise We flew in to San Juan on Friday from MSP and spent 2 nights at the Marriott/San Juan. We usually stay at the Tres Palmas guesthouse on our San Juan cruises but we had Marriott Rewards pts. and ended up with 2 nights free. The Marriott was very nice. We had a great room overlooking the pool and the ocean. The lobby area gets kinda wild on weekend evenings with loud salsa type music but it was a fun place to hang out. The staff at the Marriott were very accommodating. My wife is a runner and when she returned from her morning run, the doorman greeted her with a towel and a cold bottled water. Lots of Brownie points there! The pool area was great and would recommend the hotel highly. We had the buffet on Friday night in LaVista rest. at the Marriott and it was very good with lots of grilled fish, chicken, steak, salads, etc etc. Sat night we ate across the street at the Tropical rest. It was just OK. Nothing special. Sunday, we checked out at 12:00 noon and grabbed a cab (about $20) to the Pan Am pier. Check in was pretty quick and at about 1:00 we were in the Windjammer enjoying our lunch. Cruise We had a balcony room on deck #6 (lowest price balcony room) and it was fine. We were right by the elevators and the first afternoon/evening we heard quite a bit of noise/talking outside our door and were afraid it was going to be a problem but never noticed any noise after the first night. We sleep with the balcony door open and enjoy the breeze and sound of the waves so that probably drowned out any hallway noise. Our cabin steward was perfect. Low profile, not in your face all the time, but very efficient. We enjoyed the ship very much but my wife and I both agreed that we enjoyed the Radiance (last year's cruise) more. The Adventure seems more geared towards families while the Radiance seems more elegant and refined. The Royal Promenade(while very impressive) gets VERY crowded during the parades and the Captain's welcome party. We passed on fighting the crowds for the free champagne. We never had a problem getting a deck chair near the pool/or a deck above on sea days. We enjoyed the Johnny Rockets but liked the Seaview Cafe on the Radiance more. Again, quieter and more refined than the party atmosphere at Johnny Rockets (although it was fun!), The shows and presentations on the Adventure were some of the best we have ever seen at sea. The ice show was very impressive. The Lyric theatre was also lovely and the stage sets were incredible. We had a great server and asst in the lovely Mozart dining room. The food was very good and close to the Radiance in quality/taste. The only poor item I had was a NY strip steak that was very tough. I ordered it to compliment the shrimp scampi (which was great!) so I didn't go hungry. The ship had about 40% Puerto Ricans on board. Much has been written about this in the past, but to us it's a non-issue. The good people of Puerto Rico were polite and enjoyable to be cruising with. Like I said, a non-issue. Ports We have done this same route before so were familiar with all the ports. In Aruba, we rented a small jeep (Jimny) from Amigo rent-a-car and cruised around the island. It was fun but dusty and bumpy on the windy side of the island with the unimproved roads. Next time we will probably spend a beach day by the big hotels. Snorkeling is also available out by the wreck of the Antilla (have done b4- but not this time). In Curacao, we took the Spanish waters snorkeling/canoe trip. It was very enjoyable with some of the best snorkeling I have ever had. Lots of big, beautiful fish while snorkeling over the sunken tug at Bayo Beach. Next time I would probably just take a cab to Bayo Beach. You can snorkel on your own (rentals available). They have a nice beach, chairs, shade, fresh water pool. Saw people eating lunch there and it looked very good. Also bar service available. In St. Maartin, took a cab to Orient Beach and just swam and read a book in our rented chair with umbrella ($15-2 chairs and umbrella). Had lunch there but it was expensive. Good, but expensive. In St. Thomas, we took the cab to Red Hook and then took the ferry to St. John. Last year we took a day sail on the New Horizon and it was one of the best shore trips ever. This year, we just took an island tour to see the National Park and the island ($16 pp for 3 hour tour-arranged with a driver at Cruz Bay). Then took the ferry back to Charlotte Amalie for some shopping and then walked back to the ship. Summary As I mentioned, we thought the ship was great. The crew was pleasant and we had no complaints as far as service or food. RCI continues to deliver a very solid value for the $$ spent. We shared a cab in St. Maartin with a couple from the Radisson Diamond. They had been on the Celebrity Infinity last year and were very disappointed in the Radisson ship. For the huge $$ spent, they said it was a disappointing. They said they were going to return to Celebrity. We will return to a Radiance class ship for our next cruise. We are thinking the Brilliance for the Panama Canal route, as we have never been there before. In summary, I would recommend the Adventure and would probably sail her or a Voyager class ship again but would prefer the slightly smaller, more elegant and intimate Radiance class. Any questions, feel free to email. June 2003 Read Less
Precruise-Flights and Hotel Security was complete and thorough, and we didn't mind that a bit. (Made sure our socks were nice.) Our flights on American Airlines were great, and the business class seats from DFW to San Juan were worth ... Read More
Precruise-Flights and Hotel Security was complete and thorough, and we didn't mind that a bit. (Made sure our socks were nice.) Our flights on American Airlines were great, and the business class seats from DFW to San Juan were worth the extra miles...IMHO. Our service was extraordinary, and the two flight attendants were gracious and always there to get anything whenever we wanted it. (ONE NOTE: our flight was overbooked, and they were asking for "volunteers" to travel the next day. No one volunteered, even for a $300 voucher. If you have a really low fare, and you were the last one to book it, then you'll be recruited. Sometimes those LOW LOW fares have a price. This could be a disaster if you are trying to reach a ship!) Once on the ground, we easily grabbed our bags and stood in a short line for a cab. They ask "Where?" and then give you a slip with the price. It's a comfort to know the price was $18.50, and the next taxi won't be cheaper. Once at the Caribe Hilton, ($65 a night) we knew this was going to be another FANTASTIC vacation. The music was playing, and we saw lots of smiles. (Good Sign!) We are Hilton HHonors members, not because we travel a lot, but because if you stay there even once a year the perks are worth it. (KEEP READING...and sign up for Hilton HHonors when you finish!) Hilton HHonors members may check in on the SECOND floor, which means no line, no exhausted person at the Front Desk sick of hearing why YOU deserve that perfect room, and personal service even for Priceline customers. We got a HUGE corner room with a BEAUTIFUL view, a king bed, and HHonors members get a free continental breakfast and Happy Hour every day. We were so happy. Went down to the Oasis bar, where the Pina Colada was invented. (Other places make the same claim, so I don't know who's right!) There was live music, so we sat down to listen and split a burger. We also had a couple of cocktails before heading back up to our gorgeous room. Yes, the drinks were high...about $7 each, but they were good, and we only had a couple. Hey, we're on vacation! We fell asleep instantly... San Juan I always picture San Juan from the short three-hour visits we've had from the cruise ship. BIG MISTAKE. We had a really great day! We woke up rather early and went on our daily four-mile walk. There are many interesting places to hike around the hotel, and in the interest of safety we chose to stay close and in very populated areas. There were families on the beach, cooking and enjoying the water. On our return, the hotel pool seemed extremely inviting, and we paid it a three-hour visit. There were quite a few children, which should be expected at this time of year. What I did NOT expect was how wild some can be. (No one wants pool water in their pina colada.) We enjoyed a couple of "adult beverages" and split my husband's favorite lunch...a grilled chicken sandwich. Next, we caught a cab...$8.50... and visited Fort Morro, and then trekked to Fort Cristobal... (it's the one we've always visited before.) This was for my dear husband...he loves forts! The forts were interesting, and fun to walk through. We then realized we were dehydrated, so we paid a visit to Senor Frogs for some water and cerveza. Now ... the GOOD part...SHOPPING! We hit the Ralph Lauren outlet, and got some great deals on clothes for huz...he was quite impressed with the $60 slacks on sale for $20. He got three pairs of slacks and a couple of shirts....we were very happy with the purchases. Me???? Oh well...I will find something in St. Thomas, I'm sure. When we returned to our room, there was a fruit plate...obviously another perk from Hilton HHonors. We took a very short nap, and then got ready for our anniversary dinner. We made reservations at the Hilton at Morton's Steak House of Chicago, and we were not disappointed. The food and drinks were pricey, but wonderful, and we had a great meal. We then went to the Oasis for one more drink before retiring. Once again, live music and a relaxing atmosphere...lots of fun. A wonderful day in a beautiful and historic city... Embarkation-Day 1 We arrived at the terminal around 10:45 a.m. (Cab ride was about $10 from the Caribe Hilton.) We were #14 and #15 in line, and around 11:30, they allowed us indoors to sit for a while until they were ready for us. COMPLETE your forms really does help. About 12:30, we began the boarding process, and we were at the Guest Relations desk getting our cyber cabin by 12:45. First to our cabin, a category DA with a beautiful aft balcony. The cabin really seemed small to me, but perhaps I've been spoiled with those mini suites. We checked out our table reservations, and they were a tad off....table for 8 is not a table for 2, so headed to the dining room to request a change...that process started at 1:30. No changes were granted on the first night, so we made reservations at Portofino's for dinner that first night. We wanted to go there anyway, so this worked out fine for us! Once completed, we headed to the Windjammer for a quick bite, and then to the pool to enjoy the sun. (Wear a swimsuit under your clothes, and have some sunscreen in your carryon.) The pool was great, and not crowded! There are pool towels in your cabin, but don't lose one or you'll be charged $20 for that ugly tan towel. We returned to our cabin around 4, and our luggage was there! Do bring a power strip...two outlets is not enough for a cabin, especially if you have cyber cabin. Sandra, our room steward, paid us a visit and was sweet and accommodating. She got us our extra towels and our robes with a smile. She also found us a lounger for our large balcony, and delivered it during dinner. We unpacked, showered, and got ourselves ready for the evening. Be aware that due to the late departure, some bags were arriving as late as 11 p.m. We saw some strange outfits this make sure you're covered. The Welcome Aboard show was cute and short, and then it was time for the MUSTER DRILL. This was the ONE WEAK LINK in our day. You are outdoors, and we stood there sweating for over 25 minutes with babies crying and old folks swaying, and the captain made remarks we could not hear due to the number at our station. They didn't do much instruction on anything, and wanted your life jacket on when you arrived. It was the one dark spot of the day for us. But we survived, and we understand the need to practice safety. Just felt it was poorly handled. Portofino's was after the Muster Drill, and it more than made up for the time we spent sweating on deck. Our dinner was fabulous, and the service outstanding. After dinner, we went to the parade on the Promenade....a MUST! The parade begins around 11, so be prepared! The parade really gets your vacation off to a fun start! We had a table at the Duck and Dog, and therefore a Front Row seat for the parade. Day at Sea-Day 2 I love it when the room service waiter is your wake-up call, with a pot of coffee, juice, and fruit. (Of course we also ordered an omelet too, but you didn't need to know that.) Then we were off for our daily walk. We also stopped on the way to pick up our tickets for the Ice Show. You are allowed to pick up the tickets you need for any show at this time. It took about five minutes! They allow you to pick up tickets from 9-12 a.m. in front of Studio B on that first day. There were dozens of lounge chairs with towels, books, etc., before 9 a.m. Sad that the folks don't listen. We found a perfect spot in the adult pool area, and enjoyed sitting in the sun from about 10 until 2. We took a 15 minute break to grab lunch, but did not feel guilty since there were some chairs that had not been occupied all morning, still sitting there unused with a book on top! One other area that is mentioned frequently is the fact that some adults think their children do not count when a sign saying "Adults ONLY" is posted by a pool. There were two different times when 2 year olds were in the pool splashing and throwing toys. Both were reported, and both were allowed to can choose to let this annoy you and ruin your day or not....I chose NOT. We had our dining changed to a table for 2...but we had to be at the early seating for this change...that's ok, since they will allow 2 to arrive a bit later. (7ish) Before dinner, we attended the ice show, "Cool Art, Hot Ice," and it was FANTASTIC. You HAVE to go see this show...perhaps the best I've ever seen. Then it was off to dinner...we had a great waiter named Luis, and enjoyed our formal night dinner very much. Then...HEADLINER SHOWTIME! Paul Boland was the entertainer, and did some wonderful impersonations, and made us laugh until we cried. We enjoyed this show almost as much as the ice show. We stopped by the Duck and Dog for an adult beverage, and then we were ready to turn in for the was a GREAT DAY! Aruba-Day 3 I think we booked this cruise so we could visit Aruba. I have to admit that the beaches were gorgeous. We had a bit of trouble finding a place to park ourselves, though. Evidently, the best beach to use if you want a "Day at the BEACH" is Baby Beach, but it is about a 30 minute ride to the beach in a cab, and about $35 each way (for 2). We couldn't find anyone to share a cab at the time we wanted to go, and we spent about 3 hours that morning shopping for souvenirs, so we asked if there was a nice beach closer by. We were taken to Palm Beach, where the high-rise resorts are located (less than 10 minutes from the ship). Cab is about $8 for 2 each way, and the public bus is $2.50 for 2...take your choice. We rode the bus one way and the cab was fine either way. We found that cruise passengers were not very welcome. (I have since discovered that it depends on how booked their resorts are at the time. No one would take our cash, or even speak to us. Other cruisers I have visited with told us they were allowed complete use of the facilities when they visited Aruba. Just know it's not a given that you will be able to get a chair or a drink. The beaches are public, but the amenities do not have to be offered to you. I understand why resorts have these policies, since their first loyalty should be to their guests. We did not want to use the pools, but maybe just rent a lounger and buy some drinks. I just don't think they are doing themselves a favor by alienating potential customers.) Please know I'm not complaining..just relating the information for the week we were visiting. We finally found a little guy next to the Radisson who rented us a lounge chair WITH a pool float for $6 each...his name was TATITO and he has a rental shack right on the beach, and the beach was nice. It's actually right by the Radisson. There is a place to get beer, water, etc., and after 3 it's HAPPY HOUR....two for ONE drinks. We spent a few nice hours there, and then headed back to the ship. We also heard that Eagle beach is nice, but the only thing at this place was the beach and some jet skis. No food, drinks, chairs, etc. So don't visit unless you want to jet ski ONLY. The beach was beautiful though. Back to the ship for a shower and some dinner. (Room service, since we were exhausted.) After a short nap, we went out to check out the nightlife in Aruba - mainly Carlos and Charlie's. It was WILD....I mean REALLY WILD. Even the Cruise Director was there leading some songs. Everyone was very happy, and it was packed. We could stand that about an hour, and then headed back to the Adventure, the Duck and Dog, and our table for some late night adult beverages. Curacao-Day 4 I have not heard too many good things about Curacao, but we enjoyed our brief visit there. It was a national holiday in Curacao on the day we visited, so many of the shops were closed. We took our time getting ready that morning, took a walk, and then headed off to explore the island. There are some interesting characters made out of stones that you will pass on your way to the shopping area. It was very crowded due to the holiday festivities, so we decided to sit at a sidewalk cafe and people watch for a bit. They had helicopter demonstrations, and huz loved watching them. After downing a couple of Amstel Lights, we shopped for a few souvenirs, and then headed back to the ship. All in all, we were gone for about 2 hours. We decided to use the afternoon as a "sea day" since it was less crowded and easier to get a great lounge chair and frosty beverage. Some passengers did visit a beach on Curacao, but we chose to stay close to the ship today and enjoy the Adventure of the Seas. It was Italian Night in the dining room, and the food was delicious. The production show that evening was "Velvet Rope." The music and productions seemed to be aimed at the Baby Boomers, and that is fine with us since we're baby boomers! They also had a 50s party later, but we opted to go to the Duck and Dog again, where our sweet waitress quickly brought our "usuals" without us even asking. She also knew my huz loved to take a glass of ice water with him, and I enjoyed sipping a Coke on the way back to the room. Both were there with our drinks in seconds! That's service, my friends. Day at Sea-Day 5 Seemed like most people got a late start today...that 50s party last night must have been a good one! Anyway, days at sea are meant for ONE thing...relaxing! So we walked, and then parked ourselves in loungers for the day. There were still quite a few saved loungers again, and most were in the adult only pool. Again, there were children in the adult only pool, but I think no one got upset enough to make it an issue. We chose to stay by the main pool today, and it was festive without being too noisy or obnoxious. They had games and contests, and the service around the pool was excellent. We did have a family arrive and put their loungers almost ON TOP of ours, in an obvious "squeeze play" to get us to leave. They needed 4 loungers and there were only 2 empty in the area. However, 2 feet from us....oh well, never mind! We stood our ground, even though those two family members just stood right behind our loungers waiting for us to go. There were plenty of chairs in plenty of places, but I guess they wanted this particular spot. Weird, huh? We were ready to leave about 45 minutes after they arrived, and then one of the people called out to her son and daughter standing at the pool bar..."They're Leaving!" So they came running over to our chairs and threw bags on them before we got our towels off. I didn't get mad, but I did giggle. How silly to base your entire happiness on ONE or TWO deck chairs. What was the big deal...three feet from us were 5 or 6 empty loungers.....oh well! All I can say is, don't let anyone ruin your day...just laugh at them. We had a nice lunch at the Island the back of the Windjammer. In fact, we ate lunch there almost daily. We sunbathed a bit longer on our balcony, and then took a nap. It was formal night, and that meant LOBSTER. Actually, the lobster was not the best, but I still thought it was good and I didn't have to COOK IT! Our waiter was sweet and brought an extra for us since our lobsters were smaller than he liked. The show tonight was Revolution, and it was a Beatle tribute show. It was fun since they also included video clips from TV commercials from this time. There was also actual footage of the Beatles and their screaming fans! After the show, we did the usual...Duck and Dog. St. Maarten-Day 6 This is my one of my two favorite ports in the Caribbean. We have been to St. Maarten a few times, and I love it more every time we stop there. (Beers are ONE DOLLAR!) This year we opted to try the St. Maarten Sailing Regatta, since everyone has raved about that excursion for years. It is only a 2½-hour excursion, so it left us plenty of time to "beach it" and shop a little as well. The excursion is fun, but you do some work unless you are one of the two people out of 18 who are chosen to do nothing. One word of caution: the ocean can get rough, and if you are prone to seasickness, you need to take precautions to prevent "making a deposit in the ocean." I started taking Bonine the week before our cruise (one every night before bed, and every night during the cruise, as well as a few days after coming home.) I am usually the FIRST to get motion sickness. I didn't even have it for a second. I was also in the front of the boat, and that seemed to be helpful as well. Huz had an inner ear infection and a head cold brewing as the cruise began, and we thought he was about over it....wrong. He was in the aft, and did get quite queasy, but never made the "deposit." He was such a trooper to stick it out. Another point: some people on this excursion think this is the REAL race, and tend to be QUITE competitive. Luckily, we won, but I hate to think what might have happened if we had lost. We were on the excursion for fun, but one of the couples had done this before and lost, and they were determined to settle an old score, meaning that our boat was going to win at ALL costs. The huz appointed himself as captain almost before we got off the Adventure, and they were scoping all of us out to see who had done this before. Just know that every sailing has a different group aboard, and what we experienced is just one possibility. I just was not prepared for that attitude, but I have to admit that I did enjoy winning. We would do this excursion again, so I'd consider it a success, and something you need to experience at least once. After the race, you are given a chance to buy an authentic "crew" t-shirt, and a photo as well. The photo was $30, but it is a once in a lifetime picture of the crew while you're sailing. Then, we decided to stretch our legs and walk past the shops to the Ev'ryTing Cool beach. We did a little souvenir shopping on the way, and then had lunch and drinks at E.T. (They have a website...check it out.) The beach is gorgeous, and the water is wonderful. After about three hours there, we stopped by a shop on Front Street for the bargains on alcohol. We enjoyed relaxing so much at this beautiful beach. Many of the passengers go to the French side (clothing optional), but we enjoyed staying close to home and relaxing. Make sure to allow plenty of time for your return if you go to the other side...several passengers said they worried that they wouldn't make it back in time due to traffic. Wonderful beach, wonderful shopping, and wonderful day... St. Thomas-Day 7 The only place I love as much as St. Maarten is St. Thomas. All passengers are required to go through an Immigration check before leaving the ship. They ask you to come to a dining room between 7 and 9 a.m. The long lines shouldn't scare you, as they move VERY quickly. We went ahead and ate breakfast in the dining room since we were up and ready to go, and then headed off to the shops. The shops are open by 9 and ready for you. There are hundreds of cabs, but they are actually "vans" with drivers who want to fill the entire van before heading to town. We found a van with a couple of spaces left and hopped on...$3 a person. After shopping, (and be sure to check out the Flea Market across from Little Switzerland), we flagged another van and headed to Megan's Bay (about $6 a person...honestly can't remember what it was exactly). It's a perfect beach for, sun, sand, gorgeous water, loungers, and adult beverages delivered to you. They also sell fantastic t-shirts. Our driver agreed to meet us at a certain time in the afternoon, and wouldn't even accept our money until the round trip was completed. (This is pretty common in St. Thomas.) Sailaway from St. Thomas is beautiful! It's really tough ending a cruise gazing at the beauty of St. Thomas, and knowing in the back of your mind that you have a ton of packing to do. We just took the time out to enjoy the scenery, and then it was time to go to the dining room for the last time. Tips are easily added to your card and then vouchers and envelopes are given to you to hand out on the last night. Luggage is due out in the hall by know the routine! It's pretty sad... Dinner was great, and the farewell show was's hard to believe how quickly the time passes. We had one last drink at the Duck and Dog, and then it was time to get back to the cabin, put out the bags, and fall asleep. Disembarkation Never fun, always sad. Once again, it takes a bit longer in San Juan than in Miami, so prepare yourself. There was NO PIER BAGGAGE CHECK BY THE AIRLINES on our voyage due to security, so be prepared to get your own bags to the airport (a cab is about $18). We had a 2:30 p.m. flight, so we were among the last to leave the ship. Keep a book with you to read, and you can sit on the Promenade one last time and enjoy the ship. We were called about 10:45, stood in a rather long customs line, and still made it to the airport by 11:30. So you should easily make a flight by noon...any earlier might have your heart racing a bit. Final Observations If you have this ship and itinerary booked, you will have a wonderful cruise. The Adventure of the Seas is a beautiful ship, and the service we received is about the best we have had so least on one of the mega-ships. The word "No" was never uttered to us, but always a smile and "We will do our best to take care of things for you." This was noted in every single area of the ship...dining room, cabin steward, bar....everywhere. The ship is also VERY clean, and kept that way throughout your stay. Itinerary- We chose this itinerary since we wanted to visit Aruba, and I'm not sure if the increased air cost justifies that one port. It was beautiful, but if your airfare is like ours, and close to $400 a person more than flying to Florida, I'm not sure it's worth the added expense. (Luckily we were able to use air miles.) However, cruising from San Juan is another experience, and we really considered San Juan an added port for us as well. We will probably just cruise the Eastern from Miami or Ft. Lauderdale from now on. If you live in an area where air to San Juan is reasonable, go for it and have fun! Dining room and Windjammer- Much has been said about the drop in the quality of food on the cruise ships recently. We thought the food was fine on this ship, and although the number of choices has been reduced, there was always something great to order. The waiters are very happy to bring you extra entrees to share so you can taste everything. The service in the dining room is outstanding, and we had enjoyable meals every night. Portofino's is a step above, no doubt, and fun for a special night during your cruise. We found the food at the Windjammer to be very good, and we utilized the Island Grill at the back for quick lunches. Room service on our sailing was PERFECT...every single order we received...and that was every morning...was exactly what we ordered. Huz said the coffee got a little bitter as the week wore on, but he drank it and said it was fine. Bravo to Room Service! Bar Service- The "Duck and Dog" is the cousin of the "Pig and Whistle" on the Voyager. It is in the middle of the activity on the Promenade, and the perfect place to have a drink. We did not purchase a cocktail card for $44 since they no longer allow you to request Stoli vodka. (They did last year.) The soda card for an adult is $33, a whopping $13 more than the exact same card on Princess. I wonder why their soda is so much more expensive on RCI...hehehe. Promenade Cafe- This is a fantastic place to grab a something sweet, like a cookie or a piece of cake or pie. They also have pizza and great sandwiches. It's open about 22 hours a day. This ship also had frozen yogurt machines located all over the ship, and they were always working. Fantastic! Alcohol- You were not allowed to carry on alcohol from the ports. It was taken and was delivered on the final night of your cruise. Alcohol bought in the duty free shop could be taken to your stateroom for an additional $9.95 per bottle. That made it cost us about the same as at home, but still less expensive than buying drinks at the bar. Photo service - Photos were taken every time you blinked, but the quality was VERY poor. We usually buy quite a few of the ship's photos, but the quality and poses were not good, and often we weren't even close to the center of the picture. Needless to say, be sure to take your own camera, and don't count on the ship's photographer to get a great pic of your group. We were really glad we took lots of pictures with our own camera. Cruise Director-The cruise director on this sailing was Omar Lugo. He was fabulous, and had such energy and vitality that it made you join in. He was everywhere, from sunrise to sunset, and the guy never stopped smiling. He seems to love his job. He was even at Carlos and Charlie's in Aruba, leading some dancing. W had a fabulous time, and hope you enjoy your cruise as well! Bon Voyage! July 2003 Read Less
Wow! Just returned from my first cruise. All I gotta say is WOW what a ship and what and amazing time we had. we flew out of Newark on March 9, 2003, at 8 am and landed in San Juan a little after 1 pm. We did not purchase any ... Read More
Wow! Just returned from my first cruise. All I gotta say is WOW what a ship and what and amazing time we had. we flew out of Newark on March 9, 2003, at 8 am and landed in San Juan a little after 1 pm. We did not purchase any transportation vouchers. We decided to take a taxi which was better because we beat all the Royal Caribbean passengers there. The taxi only cost $16 for four people which wasn't bad. We arrived at the ship at about 2:15 and were on the ship by 2:30. There was no one on line at all was really fast much faster then what I read about in some posts on here. We were assigned to cabin #7609 which was an atrium view room which we did enjoy. Our cabin steward was Ruffis he was the best. We couldn't ask for anyone better he did all kinds of things for us. This ship is huge it took us all day to explore and check the whole ship out. Dinner the first night was casual which was good cause we weren't in the mood to dress up. We were assigned the Vivaldi dining room located on the 3rd floor. Our table # was 328 which was about 3 tables behind the captain's table. Our table sat 4 people. Our head waiters name was Kagan and our assistant waiter was Boni. They were both excellent when ever we wanted something they were there. I enjoyed having them for waiters. They were the kindest people in the world. The second day was at sea which was nice just to relax by the pool. I suggest getting out there early because the seats go quickly and its hard to find a bunch all together. At night it was captain's night which was formal. It kind of reminded me of a high school prom all dressed up and taking pictures. The food this night was on the money. The 3rd day we were at Aruba. This by far was our favorite island out of all we visited. We went on 2 excursions which were great. The first one was the Aruba sailaway cruise snorkel and beach tour. The snorkeling wasn't that great. Not too many fish around where we went. The beach was awesome, water was clean, sand was white and so soft. They also serve lunch that wasn't the best but was ok. The second excursion we did was at nite and was the Kukoo Kunuku tour which was a bar hopping tour which was great it also included dinner. The best part of this was the last bar Carlos and Charlies. You must go to this bar what a blast we had there. 4th day we were in Curacao. Was our least favorite island. We went on the Curacao beach break that brought us to a man made beach which was ok. Not much to do but relax sunbathe or swim. They had a nice little bar restaurant there. The food in the bar was excellent and the prices were reasonable. That night we went to Portofinos to eat dinner Portofinos was out of this world was well worth the 20 dollar charge per person. The food and service were on the money. My recommendations are the lobster and the shrimp. Both were very tasty. 5th day we were at sea which was also another good thing just to relax and chill out. It was also another formal night but this time it was chef's night. The food was good as usual many different things to eat. We did a little gambling this nite to but no action so decided wasn't gonna gamble anymore on the boat all week. We also seen a comedian this nite who was pretty funny. 6th day we landed in St. Maarten and went on the beach trip that took u to orient beach. It was so beautiful there. Water was crystal clear, sand was like butter. We did some things there like jet skis which was 40 dollars per half hour, and parasailing which was 90 dollars for 2 people for 15 mins. The restaurant there is also good but the people who work there are not too friendly. At nite we ate in the main dining room again. Food was good as every nite there. 7th day we landed in St. Thomas and went to Meagan's Bay by cab which cost $24 for 4 people plus $3 each to enter on the beach. Meagan's Bay was ok. I cant see why the rate it the top beach in the world. Not much to see or do there. There is only one bar that has a restaurant plus a store where u can rent beach chairs for $6 plus a $5 deposit which is returned when u bring the chairs back. We did not stay long we decided to go shopping back near the ship some great deals down there. I bought a techno marine watch which goes for about $450 back in NY and got it for $200. That nite was international nite in the dining room. Was lots of different foods to try. I really enjoyed it. 8th day San Juan debarkation day. Wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. We had a 10:45 am flight so we were of the boat at 7:45 am and in the airport by 8:30 am. Our flight wasn't the best. We had to make and emergency landing back at San Juan after 1 hour into the flight do to a medical emergency. Johnny rockets was awesome we ate there almost every afternoon. The chili and the burgers are awesome. The sports bar, aquarium bar and the pool bar were our favorite bars. The others were ok but always dead. Jesters was ok. We are from NY and used to the best clubs in the world so Jesters couldn't compare. Duty free shopping on board was good to nice stuff and good prices. As for the whole trip, it was awesome. This was my first cruise and not my last. RCI gets 5 stars from me and I cant picture any other boat being better then the AOS. July 2003 Read Less
Sail Date: March 2003
I decided in February that I really needed a cruise. I wanted Southern Caribbean and like RCI, so decided to try AOS. I am not a Voyager class fan as I prefer my ships on a smaller scale but AOS is big and beautiful. She is immaculate ... Read More
I decided in February that I really needed a cruise. I wanted Southern Caribbean and like RCI, so decided to try AOS. I am not a Voyager class fan as I prefer my ships on a smaller scale but AOS is big and beautiful. She is immaculate and well laid out with lots of outdoor deck space and lovely public rooms. My cabin was a Cat. A suite and it was my first experience in such a fabulous cabin. I am Diamond on RCI and there was a basket of fruit, a robe and a welcome note in my cabin when I arrived, all much appreciated. The cabin was very spacious with a nice balcony, walk in closet and large tub. I normally do not spend much time in my stateroom but found myself often taking the time to enjoy early morning coffee and a late lunch on my balcony. What a treat! My cabin attendant was wonderful, one of the best to date. I am not your typical cruiser so there will be things I cannot comment on as I did not do them. My routine is to hit the gym early, then have breakfast in Windjammer and be out by the pool by 9:00am to spend most of the day there. A glass of wine before dinner and music and dancing afterward and that is my day. The fitness center is fabulous and was not crowded during the hours I visited. I took some classes which I enjoyed but did not think the $10 surcharge classes were worth the money. I made use of the steam room and sauna every afternoon and was often the only one in there. I was assigned to a great table with a group of singles traveling together from Boston. I had dinner in the dining room 5 times during the week, enjoying dinner with the hotel manager, cruise director and chief purser one formal night, a special treat. I am a light and healthy eater and found plenty of selections to suit me. Service was very good. Both food and service were much better than on my Voyager cruise in 2001. I dined in Portofino one evening and it was really lovely. Tableside preparation, a wonderful menu and the intimate atmosphere all enhanced the high quality of the food. It was fun to see everyone so elegantly dresses and enjoying Portofino's as a special occasion. I chose Windjammer for breakfast each morning and most afternoons had lunch there as well. There was a good variety of choices and always fresh fruit, coffee and tea available. My favorite lounge on all the RCI ships is the Champagne Bar so that is where I began and typically ended my evenings. There was plenty of entertainment on board. I did not see any of the shows as I am not a show person so cannot comment on the quality. I heard raves about the ice show and did have tickets but never made it. The Royal Promenade was always busy and there was a nice choice of live music. The disco was very high tech but this cruise had a fairly quiet crowd so there was not often a lot going on there except on formal nights when people tended to stay up later. I had visited all the ports previously and knew what I wanted to do so I headed for Eagle Beach in Aruba, shopping and beach in St. Maarten, downtown walking in Curacao and Coki beach in St. Thomas. All in all, it was a very enjoyable cruise. March is usually good sailing weather and this was no exception. I still will choose Radiance class first and Vision second but did very much appreciate the personality and staff aboard AOS and would sail her again if the right opportunity arose. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2003
My husband and I took the Adventure of the seas April 13th, 2003 which did San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Maartin, Antigua, St. Lucia, and Barbados. We have cruised once before on the Monarch of the Seas, also Royal Caribbean 2 years ago. I ... Read More
My husband and I took the Adventure of the seas April 13th, 2003 which did San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Maartin, Antigua, St. Lucia, and Barbados. We have cruised once before on the Monarch of the Seas, also Royal Caribbean 2 years ago. I have to say that after our experience on this ship, we will probably never cruise Royal Caribbean again. First I will tell you what we liked about our vacation... Food was awesome. I highly recommend the restaurant "Portofinos", it was the best meal we have ever had, and we like to eat out (expensively) a lot. It was well worth the $20 USD. We went on Tuesday night which was Caribbean night in the main dining room, which I had heard it could be missed. People we were traveling with said it was their least favorite meal of the trip, so do Portofinos on the Tuesday night. You have to make reservations when you get on the ship. The Ship itself was very nice, BIG, and clean. The art work wasn't my taste, but was nice none the less. Every time you turn around, you see something new. All the shows at night are great... A must see! You have to book tickets to the ice show (free) in Studio B. They will make announcements. What we didn't like.... Now I'm really not one that usually complains about things, I'm very easy going (it is normally my husband nitpicking), but there was just so much about this cruise that didn't make it worth the money... Maybe we just had a bad experience, but I found the staff, not as friendly as our first cruise. Our waiter was great however... Riza from Turkey. He was really friendly! We got to the ship at 12:00pm to make sure we were one of the first in line. We were on the ship by 1:00pm. We IMMEDIATELY went to book our excursions. DO NOT BOOK THEM ON THE SHIP. BOOK ON-LINE well in advance!!! Even though we were one of the first on the ship (literally) 2 of the 5 excursions we booked were full. We then had to choose other ones in their place, but by the time they notified us (the next day) a lot of the other excursions were booked too, leaving us little to choose from. I was very disappointed at this. The system should be set up better. I tried to book them on-line 9 days before the cruise, but the cut off is 10 days. We booked the submarine excursion in St. Thomas, which was fun, St. Maarten was the Golden Eagle Catamaran. This was great, we had rough water, so it made it even more fun..... Antigua we swam with Stingrays.... probably the best tour of all. We originally wanted to do the dolphin one here, but it was over booked. RC told me that half the spots are available on the internet and half on the ship, but they lied to me because it was booked completely on the internet. That is why we didn't get it. In St. Lucia, we did the Jungle Bike and sea tour. This was great too... in Barbados we did the Kayak and sea turtle encounter. "TURTLE" as in singular.... they make it seam like you can swim with them and feed them while they frolic around you while you pet them.... we saw 1, ONE, UNO turtle, and he came no where near us. The tour guide, said there are normally 2 turtles but they hadn't seen one in a while. I did however get to see many puffer fish and feed one of them. This tour should be called the "Kayak and puffer fish encounter". I do not recommend this one. I was very disappointed. Our bathroom wasn't clean when we got to our room. Someone else's soap was still in the shower, and tooth paste stains in the cabinet. I left our room attendant a note to clean it up, and it was never done. When we got back to our room, our bed was turned down, and the note gone, so someone obviously got it... For the amount you pay for these cruises, the bathroom should at lease be clean. KIDS, KIDS, KIDS...... the ship has 3,500 passengers (over booked) and out of that, 1000 were kids.... they were everywhere. I think we picked a bad week to go.... you would get into an elevator, and all the buttons would be pushed and there would be 2 snickering kids getting off.... they were going around pulling the "Do not Disturb" signs out of doors, running through the library yelling, bumping into you with their ice-cream cones getting your cloths dirty... etc.... I can go on..... Uncontrollable, unsupervised kids, EVERYWHERE!!! I would NEVER take a cruise that wasn't adults only again. My husband and I are seriously thinking about never having kids after this experience. Royal Caribbean should have enforced the curfew a little better, because one night at 2:30am there were kids running down the hallway yelling trying to see how many people they could wake up. The last day we were there was a huge problem with immigration. We made sure we were the first in line to get our passports back. I think we were in line from about 6:00am and they opened at 8:00am. TRUST ME, go early... but this particular day we didn't get our passports till about noon. They kept making announcements that they would be there shortly. 6 hours we waited! We had booked an excursion that day on San Juan, and I tried to get our money back, because we hadn't eaten breakfast yet, and that was just a VERY bad day, but they refused to refund us. We finally made it to our excursion only after I hounded them to just give me my passport back. I really don't know what others did that day, because we just made it. Make sure you stay in San Juan for an extra day after the cruise to avoid trying to catch flights that day. Overall, we were disappointed in the customer service on the cruise itself, but the food and islands were great! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2003
After 16 cruises I have to say this was one of the best. We departed from San Juan and arrived a day early so we could relax and this was a good idea. The check in was not the greatest. We had to stand in line for about 1 hour in the sun ... Read More
After 16 cruises I have to say this was one of the best. We departed from San Juan and arrived a day early so we could relax and this was a good idea. The check in was not the greatest. We had to stand in line for about 1 hour in the sun with our bags just to hand them to the porters. After that it went little faster but I was rather disappointed concerning we did all our paper work online ahead of time. The ship was great. Really good waiter and bus boy. kept us entertained. and the food was The dining room is beautiful. We ate a couple of times at Jonny Rockets and enjoyed it mostly because you could eat outside. In Aruba we did the jeep tour and it was fun but someone in out party flipped her jeep as we were leaving the natural bridge. No Serious injuries but I have to say, some of the people in our tour were very rude. Only cared about getting to the beach and not being delayed. In the mean time, a girl was laying on the ground. Also the tour bus were taking pictures out of their windows as they were passing us. Very Rude. There are many beautiful beaches in Aruba and De Palm Island is not one of them. Lovely view of the oil refineries. Lunch was good though and the snorkeling was very goading Joes's is a great place for a drink before heading back to the ship. It's located across from dock and is a great place to people watch. At night don't miss Carlos' n Charlie's. St. Maarten we did Orient beach with lunch. I recommend this tour. The beach and waterare BEAUTIFUL and lunch was wonderful. We had our own little table nesseled under the shade on the beach. WE were back in town in time to do some shopping and walk around. Beer is cheep and you can carry the bottles with you as you walk. In St. Thomas we did the AM snorkel tour to St. John's. The ferry ride is pretty and the guide in St. John was interresting. It's a good way to see the island. Snorkeling was Beautiful. (TIP: Don't try to feed the fish, I brought dog biscuits and almost lost a finger, Stupid). We shopped in the afternoon. There's no need to go into Charlotte Amille. The shops at the mall by the ship are more then enough. Try to save time for the tramway to Paradise Point. You can walk there from the ship and the view is breath-taking. The speciality drink is the Bushwacker. Very tastey. Over all this was a great cruise. There were 8 of us and we all agree. Sometimes everything just clicks together. Good room good friends good waiters. This was one of those times. Read Less
Adventure of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 5.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 1.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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